Hertford 1s rewarded with win over Letchworth
By Will Ray
Match-winning performances from Jon Ryan (4-55) and Elliot King (85*) see Hertford rewarded with 2nd win of the season.
Hertford travelled to newly-promoted Letchworth in a mid-season clash which bared huge significance for a 2nd from bottom Hertford side.
Over the past two weeks, Hertford had begun to find some form with the bat and skipper Richard Leather was hoping that confidence would transfer into the field as he stuck Letchworth into bat.
In the early stages, Hertford managed to keep Letchworth’s scoring rate in check, although some clean striking from Tom Simmons kept the scoreboard ticking when Hertford’s openers erred in length. Letchworth reached 49-0 at drinks but Hertford were content with the control they had managed to exert. The breakthrough Hertford desired came 2 balls after the restart when Simmons misjudged a single to Will Ray who ran out opener Adrian Wilson for 11, leaving the score at 49-1.
What ensued was a period of dominance from Hertford’s bowlers, led by Jon Ryan who bowled Peter New (3) and Will Bates (4) to leave Letchworth in a precarious position at 61-3. Simmons was joined by Maxford Pipe and the pair steadied the ship when on the brink of lunch, Adam Carlson had Simmons caught at 1st slip by Olly Folland, one handed and low to his left in a catch-of-the-season contender.
After the lunch break, Hertford’s bowlers were in no mood to let up the pressure. Ryan immediately had Pipe (25) trapped lbw and William Aitkenhead quickly followed, well bowled by the consistent and probing Adam Carlson for 4. At 107-6, Hertford hoped they could dismiss Letchworth for around the 130-mark but some lower order runs from Adam Jenkins (27*), Richard Barclay (16) and Harry Aitkenhead (13) propelled Letchworth to 163 all out. Hertford’s bowlers returned with impressive figures. Notably Jon Ryan (20 overs, 55 runs, 4 wickets), James Leather (13.2-28-3) and Adam Carlson (8-22-2)
After a quick turnaround, Hertford set out with the intention of preserving wickets but they failed to do so. Disciplined bowling from Letchworth openers Barclay and Bhatti saw to end to Will Ray (1) and Ian Harris (0). Hertford captain Richard Leather was joined by Elliot King and the pair set about repairing the early damage, taking the score to 41 when Leather became the 2nd run out victim of the match for 13, leaving Hertford wobbling.
Middle order runs were required and middle order runs were delivered by the incoming James Leather and Elliot King. The Hertford pair skilfully manoeuvred Letchworth’s spin attack of Bates and Pipe with minimal risk, punching balls into gaps along the floor and scoring at a steady rate. King and Leather had both scored excellent 50s when the next wicket was to fall, James Leather lbw to Pipe for 52. At that point however, the 4th wicket partnership of 108 had effectively won Hertford the game and King would end up seeing his team home, finishing with a magnificent 85* from 123 balls.
On reflection, Hertford had felt like this win was coming with excellent performances in the last few weeks unrewarded. Hertford will hope they can continue their fine form when they travel to 3rd placed Radlett this Saturday.
Scorecard - http://hertford.play-cricket.com/website/results/3081341