Sunday, 20 May 2018

Battling Horspath foiled in last over by Tring

Stephen Green made 54. Picture: Stuart Cardy
HORSPATH pushed Tring Park all the way before slipping to a two-wicket defeat in the last over in Home Counties Premier League Division 1 at the Recreation Ground.

After choosing to bat, the hosts slumped to 77-6, before Stephen Green (54) and skipper Will Eason (44no) shared an 86-run stand for the seventh wicket to take Horspath to 183-7 off their 50 overs. However, it wasn't to prove enough as Tring edged home with two balls to spare at 186-8.

Tom Coleman was first to go for Horspath, skying a leading edge to Andy Harris off David Brent with just two on the board. Robbie Eason and Mark Skelton, promoted up the order to No 3, took the score to 27 before Horspath lost three wickets for five runs. Skelton was bowled for 17 by Brent, who then had Eason caught by Liam Gough, before Darryl Brown was adjudged lbw to Simon Stanway.

Jimmy Phillips and Tom Cosford had moved the score on to 57 when the former fell to a Shelvin Gumbs catch at first slip off Andy Harris. Horspath plunged deeper into trouble when Cosford was caught by Andrew Dixon off AJ Woodland for 22. But Green and Will Eason set about repairing the damage, and gradually hauled Horspath back into the game.

Green made it back-to-back half-centuries following his fifty in the Royal London Club Championship win at Aston Rowant with a single down to long on off Jake Seagrave in the 45th over. He had moved his maiden Home Counties half-century on to 54 from 96 balls with five fours, before he fell to a brilliant caught and bowled dismissal by Simon Stanway, who finished with 2-30, while Brent returned figures of 3-36.

Horspath's total looked below-par, but it gave them a fighting chance, and they were to take Tring to the wire. Woodland and Gough put on an opening stand of 38 when the latter fell to an excellent catch by Cosford diving to his left at short mid-wicket off Liam Manley. The left-arm seamer struck again five runs later with Will Eason diving to his right at first slip to take a superb catch to remove Andrew Dixon.

Brown then got in on the act, making good ground across the square to dive full length and clutch a stunning catch from Woodland off his own bowling and make it 61-3. Ten runs later, the South African all-rounder bowled Tring skipper Gumbs and Horspath were firmly in the hunt.

But then Michael Payne and Brent put on 55 for the fifth wicket, before the latter fell to a good low catch by Jamil Faruq at long on off Cosford for 32. Tring had added just one more run when Lloyd Belcher trapped Harris lbw without scoring for his 100th Home Counties wicket to make it 127-6.

The game remained in the balance as Brown picked up his third victim with Charlie Macdonell edging behind to Robbie Eason, leaving Tring 142-7 in the 37th over. Payne and Stephen Dutch moved the score on to 170 in the 46th over, though, before the former was bowled by Will Eason for 52 from 102 deliveries with seven fours.

Tight bowling ensured the match went to the final over, with Tring still needing six to win with two wickets left. However, Seagrave hit Skelton's second and fourth deliveries for legside boundaries to clinch victory for the visitors with two balls to spare at 186-8.

It had been a terrific effort by Horspath in the field as Brown finished with 3-33, Manley 2-28, Eason 1-30, Belcher 1-33 and Cosford 1-35, but they were left to reflect that they had fallen short with the bat.

Posted by: Russ