Skeggs brothers show fighting spirit but their hits are in vain

KNEBWORTH Park went down by two wickets off the last ball in a thrilling match in the Home Counties league Division two East against North Mymms. The Park were in early trouble as Wendell Roberts 3-46 in 17 overs removed both Park openers David Lowe and A

KNEBWORTH Park went down by two wickets off the last ball in a thrilling match in the Home Counties league Division two East against North Mymms.

The Park were in early trouble as Wendell Roberts 3-46 in 17 overs removed both Park openers David Lowe and Adrian Holmes cheaply and fellow opening bowler Paul Coverdale 2-66 in 15 overs had Anthony Pratt out for a duck as they slumped to 27-3.

Skeggs brothers Ryan (70) and Tony (24) repaired the damage in a stand of 73, but with rain intervening for a second time to lose a further hour to the 14 minutes at lunch, the Park had to press on the accelerator to set a competitive total.

Tom Jenkins with an excellent 50 helped Ryan add a further 58 for the sixth wicket, and Sam McCrow struck a quickfire 15 to lift the total to 198-7 off 49 overs with 100 coming off the last 12 overs.

With only 40 overs to get the runs, Mymms chased hard and although Knebworth removed the first three for 49, the run rate was good and at 70-3 off the first 20 overs they looked well placed.

Chris Brook bowled a tight 11 overs of 2-27 to curtail them. Off- spinner Tom Hemingway 4-46 chipped in with crucial wickets and dramatically the home side slid from 86-3 to 114-7.

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Some missed chances didn't help as Roberts then produced a match winning innings of 57 not out and with Ben Bagshaw (19), struck 54 in only five overs.

Chris Stead 13 not out added further support and with nine needed off Pratt's final over, they made it with a bye off the last delivery.

A heavy rainstorm at Knebworth meant that both the second and fourth team matches were washed out.

Kings Langley had rattled up a rapid 244-5 before declaring after 40 overs, having played through a fair amount of rain before stopping. Only Nick Simpson 0-31 stemmed the flow of runs.

After ten balls of the Park's innings when they were 11-0, the deluge meant there was no chance of any resumption of play.

Similarly, rain ruined the fourths match after they had kept Weston to 168-9, and the rain then came before the Park could begin their innings.

James Leather was the pick of the bowlers with 3-28, while Michael Fisher took 2-51 and Gideon Sutcliffe 3-33.

The Park's 3rd XI returned to winning ways with a 24 run victory over St Albans West Indians.

In a rain affected match the Park were restricted early on by some tight bowling and a helpful pitch which saw wickets fall at regular intervals and at 48-4 after 20 overs things looked bleak for the visitors.

Alex Richmond and Jono Evetts steadied the ship and managed to accelerate the scoring putting on 70 before Richmond fell for 45. Evetts followed soon after for 26.

They finally posted a score of 159 from their allotted 48 overs. The only other contributions of note being 15 and 18 from Graham Martin and Josh Roseberry respectively

The West Indians also found the going tough against accurate opening bowling from young pacemen Tommy Hull and Robbie Woodburn each taking a wicket a piece.

Guy Johnson joined the attack and in an excellent spell with Woodburn seemed to have the game won with West Indians struggling to 63-7.

However, Cheedi took the attack to the Park and with support from the tail looked to be steering them to victory before he was finally bowled by Woodburn for a fine 84. Woodburn finished with 3-38 and Johnson 3-32 as the West Indians were bowled out for 135.

Crucial dropped catches cost the Park's 5ths victory over St Albans 4ths as they went down by two wickets in a closely fought match to end their winning run in Division 10.

Chris Johnson 41 and under-13 James McDonald, batting impressively on his senior debut, in scoring 27 had helped take the total on to 117 for 3, but with the rain having reduced the overs, they then tried to score too quickly on a wicket that was risky and they paid the penalty with the last seven wickets falling for 18 runs.

Robert Crowe bowled without luck in taking 0-25 off 13 overs, but it was the slow bowling of skipper John Inman 5-32 and under-14 leg spinner Conor Alderman 2-23 that put Knebworth in a strong position at 60-6.

But catches then went down and the visitors crept home with an over to spare on 148-8.

The Park's 6th team, full of optimism, following their last two victories slipped back into old habits as they were comprehensively beaten by Hemel Hempstead 5ths keeping them firmly in the relegation zone of division 12.

In a shortened, rain affected game, the Park were put into bat by the opposition, a decision that was fully vindicated as batsmen tamely surrendered their wickets.

Only a late flurry by Dave Mantle (34) including three sixes, gave a glimmer of respectability to the score which finished on 132 all out with 10 overs still available

In reply, Hemel were never in any real difficulty as they cruised to victory for just three wickets down.

Under-14 Matt Hutchinson showed what an improved player he is this year finishing with figures of 1-24 off his five overs and under-12 Greg Butler bowled another tidy spell with 0-13 for his four overs.