Hertford 1s earn victory over bottom side Luton
All-round team performance led by skipper Richard Leather earns Hertford 1s victory over bottom side Luton in rain affected game.
Hertford bounced back from a disappointing defeat the previous week against Totteridge by registering their first league victory of the season against bottom side Luton. The Balls park side secured a vital 30 points in a rain affected match.
Following heavy rain during the week, Hertford skipper Richard Leather won the toss and chose to make the most of the favourable bowling conditions. This decision was immediately rewarded as the Hertford opening attack of James Leather (2-26) and Ben Orchard (3-21) reduced the visitors to 31-5.
The returning Jon Ryan (1-15) settled back into his usual rhythm to keep the pressure on Luton, in tandem with Adam Carlson (1-26). A couple of lower order partnerships from the visitors helped push the score up to 131-8 from 46 overs, the game being reduced following a couple of earlier rain breaks.
The Hertford bowlers were pleased with their day's work as although the wicket offered plenty of assistance, there was little margin for error in line and length. At the half way stage the home side were confident that if they applied themselves with the bat and the showers stayed away then they would be in line to take home the 30 points.
Opening pair Richard Leather and Will Ray started cautiously, aware that early wickets would grant the visitors a way back into the game. Although scoring was not easy, the Hertford batsmen weathered the early pressure and started to score with more freedom as the overs went on.
Following the introduction of spin into the bowling attack Ray was stumped for 15, which brought Elliot King to the crease. King brought more impetus to the innings, using his feet well to the spinners and unsettling the line and length that the bowlers had settled into. The score pushed on beyond the Duckworth-Lewis par score and even though King departed for a well made 37 just before a rain interval, Hertford remained on course to win the game.
Richard Leather, playing a true captain's innings, helped take his side closer to the victory target and as the score pushed on beyond 100, hope started to leave the visiting Luton side. Ollie Ray (14) was the only other wicket to fall as Hertford reached the victory target with more than 6 overs to spare. Leather finished on 58* to take his side home to victory and give them a much needed confidence boost ahead of the visit of a strong Bishop Stortford side the following week.