Park can’t dislodge Hertford last pair

A much improved all-round performance from Knebworth Park could only achieve a draw with Hertford. Winning the toss and deciding to bat, Park started steadily. David Lowe (15) was run out with the score on 40, up to which point both he and fellow opener A

A much improved all-round performance from Knebworth Park could only achieve a draw with Hertford.

Winning the toss and deciding to bat, Park started steadily. David Lowe (15) was run out with the score on 40, up to which point both he and fellow opener Adrian Holmes looked in control.

Holmes batted through to the lunch interval with his first league fifty of the season, the only other victim to fall before lunch was skipper Ryan Skeggs for six. Tom Bancroft for Hertford bowled extremely well, his 17-over spell conceding only 24 runs.

Bancroft continued after lunch with two more overs finishing with figures of 19 overs for 33 runs as Park set about building a score.

Holmes (55) was caught by John Ryan off his own bowling and in the same over, the in-form Phil Simpson achieved a rare duck.

Tom Jenkins and Anthony Pratt added 97 runs in just 50 minutes before Pratt finally fell for 66 off 59 deliveries to 15-year-old Oliver Ray when he was caught on the boundary by Chris Box.

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Another double wicket over from John Ryan included Jenkins with the day's high score of 67. Ryan finished with 4-52 and Ray 2-15 as Park closed on 252-8.

The Hertford reply was led by their captain Scott Ruskin, belting 25 quick runs before being caught behind off the bowling of spinner Tom Hemingway, the first of three catches for wicketkeeper Jenkins.

Steve Cordingley was joined by Phil Carlson and they continued with a healthy run rate, until Carlson fell leg before to Chris Brook for 27 off 28 deliveries.

That practically ended the run chase by Hertford, and when 107-2 quickly became 118-6, with Cordingley falling to Pratt for 50, they were content to add to their five drawn matches of the season.

Hertford batted through 52 overs for their 156-9 with 27 deliveries at the last pair not enough for Park to gain a much-needed win.

But contributions from all the squad, with three batters reaching fifty, and solid bowling performances from Pratt (4-30 off 16 overs), Chris Brook (2-31 off 13 overs) and Hemingway (3-48 off 12) should give the Park confidence for the final month of the season.

P The seconds were also held to a draw at Old Albanians and the result did little to enhance the promotion prospects of either side.

Openers Jarrod Turner and Steve Gregory put on 40 in eight overs before Turner departed.

Terry Morton soon came and went and it was not long before Stuart Burford unleashed on the Old Albanians attack.

He dispatched both spin and pace to all corners of the ground and ended his innings on 124, his first league hundred.

Gregory fell for 40, and Adam Sergeant struck the ball cleanly at the end of the innings to finish on an undefeated 34, to bring the total to 261-8 off their allotted overs.

With such a large score to chase, Old Albanians had to get off to a strong start to have any chance in grabbing victory but were unable to do so due to Nick Simpson and Sergeant's patient spells.

Simpson and Shaun Robinson took wickets and spin bowlers Michael Carter, Karl Padalia (two wickets) and Turner (three) were allowed to attack due to the wonderful platform they had been given by the quick bowlers.

Knebworth had two wickets to take in the remaining 14 overs and although Morton's leg spin picked up a wicket with three balls remaining, they were unable to pick up the final wicket, which left Old Albanians at 181-9.

P The fifths went down to defeat by six wickets away to Parkfield Headstone 2nds.

Opening bat Chris Bonser scored 76 but received insufficient support from the early batsmen. Tom Eaton (24) and Matt Woods (22) chipped in from the middle order but their final total of 163 was nowhere near enough.

The young Park attack, all under-18, bowled impressively without luck with Ross Courtney taking 2-50 and Robert Crowe 1-18 in 10 tight overs as the home side won.

P Richard Evans' seven-wicket haul in his first league match for the Park bowled the sixths to victory against Ware 2nds.

Winning the toss and electing to bat seemed a bad decision as Knebworth slipped to 44-7 on what was a poor batting surface.

Under-13 James McDonald (21) and 26 from Mark Folwell managed to get the innings to a slightly more respectable 110 all out.

In reply the visitors were blown away by newcomer Evans who took a wicket with his first ball and, supported by some excellent catching and ground fielding, finished with a remarkable 7-12 runs off eight overs.

Ware were skittled out for 33 to pull off what had seemed an unlikely victory by 77 runs.

This was the fourth victory in their last five matches for the sixths and continued the climb away from the relegation zone of Division 12 following a poor start to the season.