Park remain on the promotion trail

Knebworth Park maintained their push for promotion with an exciting win over mid-table Berkhamsted. With both leaders Letchworth and third placed St Albans also winning, the last day of the league season is poised for a thrilling climax. Against Berkhams

Knebworth Park maintained their push for promotion with an exciting win over mid-table Berkhamsted.

With both leaders Letchworth and third placed St Albans also winning, the last day of the league season is poised for a thrilling climax.

Against Berkhamsted, Park captain Tony Skeggs won the toss and batted, and Jarrod Turner and Ryan Skeggs set off to a positive start, aided by some wayward bowling from Simon Cusden, spearheading the Berkhamsted attack.

By the 10th over Cusden had bowled six no balls and two wides, but made amends when he clean bowled Skeggs for six with the score on 35.

Turner was joined by skipper Tony Skeggs, and although apart from Cusden, who contributed 18 to the score in wides and no balls, Berkhamsted regained some control with Oliver Jannaway and skipper Mark Herring restricting the pair mainly to singles.

However the singles mounted up to reach 133-1 in the 35th over.

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Berkhamsted swiftly turned the game around with the introduction of Jack Kilgannon to the attack. Kilgannon had Turner (57) and then Skeggs (41), both caught by Ian Hammond at gully in consecutive balls, and with Steve Gregory giving Herring a caught and bowled, 133-4 looked a very different game.

Alex Richmond, debuting in the first team after his fine hundred of the previous week in the second team, managed to steady the collapse along with Louis Champion, pushing the score past 160.

With Herring bowling a marathon spell from the pavilion end at Knebworth, and Jannaway coming back for a second spell, the final 10 overs were again poised for a Knebworth onslaught, but for once this season the tail could not wag.

Richmond and Champion (25) were dismissed to leave Park 174-6 and the final over started with Park on 194-7, needing six runs for maximum batting points.

But they finished 195 all out, with Herring getting all the batsmen to offer catches, his 17.4 overs yielding 5-44.

Berkhamsted's reply started in real swashbuckling style and threatened to destroy Park's promotion prospects.

Cusden and Kilgannon flayed at bowling which was too short and bludgeoned 51 runs in the first nine overs, but the introduction of spin from Turner, twisted the momentum yet again, taking a fine catch off his own bowling, Cusden out for 15.

Berkhamsted continued to try and smash their way to victory, but even some wayward bowling from Turner snapped up a wicket, Kilgannon on 42 from 36 deliveries belted such a wayward delivery for Sam McCrow to cling on to, 76-2.

James Steadman built a fine innings while watching Turner take the first six wickets, with only 121 on the board.

When Tony Skeggs bowled Oliver Jannaway, Berkhamsted were still more than 50 runs short with 10 overs to go.

Steadman did offer a couple of chances which Knebworth uncharacteristically put down, but the second spell of bowling from Paul Slade proved the matchwinner, taking the last three wickets, all bowled, for only two runs.

Steadman finished 60no, Berkhamsted 172 all out, while Slade took 3-30 in 9.5 overs, although it was Turner with 6-68 which meant the title and promotion chase would go to the final Saturday.

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