9th June 2018 – vs St Margaretsbury – LOST by 140 runs 🙁
2nd June 2018 – vs Cheshunt – WON by 9 wickets
26th May 2018 – vs Hatfield & Crusaders – LOST
19th May 2018 – vs Stevenage – LOST
12th May 2018 – vs Hitchin – LOST by 1 run
A tough day at the office for the Park’s 4th XI over at St Margaretsbury. On what looked a lovely batting wicket, Jonathan Cirkel lost the toss and the hosts elected to bat first. In an opening stand of 132, Knebworth were punished by the St Margs number 2 on anything wide of the stumps and also by the number of extras being given (a theme continued throughout the innings). However, both batsmen got away with dropped chances and living with a fair amount of luck finding gaps in the field with aerial balls through point, gulley and third slip areas. The breakthrough eventually came in the 25th over when Cirkel claimed the lower scoring opener for 33 with a catch at deep gulley by Mantle. Cirkel claimed his 2nd wicket soon after with a good catch at cover by Richard Wheeler.
The fall of the wicket brought a big hitting batter to the crease and a couple of lovely on-drives and other powerful shots kept St Margaretsbury going at a good pace. At the other end, while Cirkel was bowling, the opener collapsed in screaming pain thinking he had torn cruciate ligaments while trying to play a cross-batted shot but after a rather miraculous recovery and cancellation of ambulance request, he left the field just limping badly. He retired on 84.
Cirkel then claimed his 3rd wicket bowling the number 5 and then Amelia Kemp was then richly rewarded with her first wicket for Knebworth 4s with a superb delivery clean bowling the number 6.
Wheeler then removed the big hitter with a fine catch on the square leg boundary by Cirkel. The lower order was then removed by Cirkel (2 bowled, one caught by Catherine behind the stumps to finish with career best figures of 8-0-46-6.
The Park’s reply started well with Ian Murrill keeping bowlers at bay whilst Phil Wheeler dispatched the looser deliveries. Murrill was bowled for 8 and Phil for 23 by an excellent delivery. Simon Roos was joined by Cirkel who started his innings with a big 6 over wide mid-on from the 2nd ball from Hibberd before Roos was bowled for 0. Richard Wheeler was removed for 1 by easily St M’s best bowler (I.Hibberd 8-3-16-5). Digweed was also bowled by Hibberd for a duck and then Cirkel was caught behind (12) again from a good swinging delivery by Hibberd.
From then, with no chance of a victory, it was really up to Amelia, Ethan Murrill and Catherine Cirkel to go out and enjoy themselves and score what they could. All three did exactly that and with some excellent shots particularly from Amelia (caught by keeper 13) and Catherine (stumped for 14), it was good to see good spirit in the side despite the size of defeat. Eddie Large scored 4 before giving the keeper’s 4th catch of the day. Mantle finishing on 0 not out.
Although the 4s are still struggling for wins and need to dominate more in the batting, the side continues to have a really good atmosphere and team spirit.
The 4s enjoyed a superb 9 wicket win against Cheshunt with a high quality bowling and fielding display followed by two quality innings by the Park.
Jonathan won the toss and with a bit of moisture still in the top of the pitch and possible overcast conditions possibly around for a while decided he opted to get the Park to field first. With James Roos opening up the hill, just one run came from the over. Amelia opened up down the hill and demonstrated that however well you bowl, sometimes wickets just don’t come. Her first 3 overs were with superb accuracy and pace and all 3 were maidens. James kept it tight at the other end and his 6 over spell only went for 13. Amelia kept the pressure on through her remaining 3 overs and finished with a superb 6-3-0-19 with only her final over suffering a little with the opening Cheshunt bat getting frustrated with the lack of runs and swinging his bat for a couple of cross-batted 4s.
The breakthrough didn’t come until the 15th over with John Inman finally tempting the other opener into getting very well caught by Ian Murrill at mid-wicket. Tommy Rowe bowled with good pace at the other end, just struggling with length a couple of times but still came away with respectable figures of 5-2-19-0. With John bowling the big-hitting Cheshunt opener with a delivery which was just far too tempting, the Park continued to build the pressure. The lack of pace from John (8-1-22-2) with Jonathan also bowling a tidy spell at the other end (figures of 7-1-16-1) meant we knew that at some point the Cheshunt batters would need to try to accelerate (Tommy taking catch from Cirkel’s bowling).
However, Knebworth’s star bowler of the innings was Richard Wheeler. Richard took a wicket in his first over with Amelia taking a nice catch at square leg, followed by an excellent caught & bowled in his second with him diving forward to take the catch. Despite a couple of blows against his bowling in his 5th over Richard took his 3rd wicket clean bowling the Cheshunt number 7 in his 6th over. Richard finished with 6-0-23-3. James returned for a couple of overs to finish with tidy figures of 8-2-22-0
With good all-round bowling and superb fielding (special mention for Simon Roos making his debut and Ian Murrill who were both sharp and stopped everything coming their way and to Catherine Cirkel for continuing her gentle come-back from injury by keeping for us again) Cheshunt’s innings closed on 140-6 from their 40 overs.
Despite some of the 4th XI batting frailties in recent weeks, on a good track we knew we had an excellent chance for a win this week as long as we were sensible. Despite hurting his hamstring when moving (?) for a catch, Phil was still happy to open the innings for the Park. He was joined by James and Phil got off to a flyer hitting all bad balls for 4 which at least meant he didn’t need to run. James also hit some good shots for his 11 before being caught by mid-on off a well struck drive with the best catch of the day. However, KPCC had already moved to 42 by this point. This meant John Inman joined Phil at the crease. We were never going to win the game through quick-singles and fortunately we didn’t need to!
Phil continued to punish anything short or over-pitched and John placed shots in the gaps enabling the pair to take well-judged ones and some twos. John of course also hit the bad ball with some lovely shots square of the wicket. The two of them continued throughout the innings and it was great to see the pair get us home for the 9 wicket victory in the 33rd over. Phil finished with his personal best of a fine 71 and John 44.
Another game played in excellent spirit between the sides and the 4ths have a wonderful team spirit with old and young players enjoying the games. We’re now looking to continue with more wins following this first one of the season.
The Park’s 4s were hosted by a friendly bunch at Hatfield & Crusaders on Saturday 26th May. H&C who were only playing their second game of the season following Baldock’s concession and a rained off game against Old Owens.
Realistically, the result of the match would probably have been different if at home on a flat pitch as our batting strength should have been better than the hosts’. However, what can only be described as an incredibly poor unrolled pitch (I’m pretty sure you’re not meant to be able to feel lumps & bumps through your shoes!), KPCC were asked to bat first and although not many of the wickets can be put down purely to the state of the wicket, it certainly made any batting with ‘proper’ shots, pretty difficult.
The Park’s innings did not start well with James Roos being bowled for 3 and was followed shortly afterwards by Phil Wheeler for an LBW duck. John Inman started a very patient recovery for the innings and with the H&C captain taking the first of his two excellent catches Richard Wheeler departed for 10. Jonathan Cirkel came to the crease and soon received 2 balls which bounced over head height demonstrating the difficulties of batting. However, if the ball was there to be hit, Jonathan hit it and moved quite quickly to 18 before giving the freshly moved mid-off a catch!
Dean Digweed departed quickly which brought Amelia Kemp to the crease and in her innings of 12 hit a couple of excellent shots with none better than the one caught and bowled by the H&C captain! John was soon out for 21 off approx. 70 balls. Catherine Cirkel made a welcome return to cricket falling for 9 off a questionably high full toss. The innings closed on just 85 from 30 overs with the fall of Dave Mantle for a duck leaving Eddie at the crease on 0.
Hatfield’s innings started steadily against the opening pair of James and Amelia with James making the breakthrough in the 9th over (16-1) with both bowlers bowling good lines and Amelia with good pace for 5 overs for 9 in her first spell including stunning 4th and 5th overs in which she was very unlucky not to get a wicket or two. James bowled through his 8 overs finishing with a very tidy 1-15. Dave replaced Amelia and as normal with him was accurate and he removed the Hatfield captain for 20. Dave bowled though his 8 overs and finished with 2-21. Except a few decent blows by a couple of the opposition players, there was nothing to really worry the park with the hosts batters struggling against John’s flighted spin but with so few runs on the board and wickets not falling regularly enough, Hatfield batted themselves into a winning position eventually in the 29th over.
As one of the very few matches to be played to completion on Saturday, whether to continue playing through the rain or not was a good idea comes down to how you look at the 1 run loss for the Park. On the negative side of things, everyone got very wet and we probably did Ross/Jono no favours with the pitch but the positive things far outweighed the negatives.
The game was played in an excellent spirit with Hitchin having ex-park coach Joe Elliot captaining Hitchin IVs (as stand-in captain, probably the main reason the game was played in such a good way) and the Hitchin side packed with youngsters. The latter can’t be said for the KPCC side where Amelia did her best to get the average age somewhere below 3 times her age……
Jonathan started his tenure as captain by losing the toss and Hitchin electing to bat first. It wasn’t long before the rain started falling and despite the 2s coming off, both sides elected to stay out knowing that coming off would have resulted in not getting the game back on.
Ben Childs and debutant James Roos put in an excellent first spell with Ben only conceding 13 from his first 5 overs and James making a break through in his 5th over (1-20). With Dave Mantle replacing Ben at the top end after Ben’s 5 overs another wicket fell almost immediately and his excellent spell continuing with him switching ends part way though and him finishing with figures of 8-2-21-3 including a superb catch by Dean at slip. James bowled through his 8 overs with his 1 wicket just costing 29.
At the top end, Amelia Kemp, at just 14 but already a rising star in Hertfordshire County U15s as well as the Eastern Region Academy came on to bowl in what, for a seam bowler were already tricky conditions bowled with excellent pace and accuracy and was unlucky not to bag a wicket in her 4 over spell which went just for 13. Hopefully the first of many games for the Park.
Jonathan replaced Amelia and his off-spin (or just slower than he used to bowl) was ideal for the conditions with John Inman the other end both slowing Hitchin’s run rate. Jonathan finishing with 7-0-25-3 and John 4-0-7-1. Ben returned replacing John and finished the Hitchin innings off to close with a very tidy 7-3-14-2. Hitchin eventually being all out for 117 from 38 overs.
Knebworth’s reply didn’t start too well with Phil Wheeler being caught by the keeper with the score on 10 but then with Cirkel at the crease with James Roos, the debutant’s day continued in a positive manner with him hitting the bad ball well particularly driving through the off-side. It was nice to see Hitchin open from one end with Sophie Gates, an ex-Hertfordshire age-group player. With Jonathan quiet (for him) at the other end from James, the score moved on well but both players were eventually undone by the accurate bowling of one of the two Hitchin young leg-spinners. From a positive start, James fell at 48, Jonathan at 55 and John Inman also falling to the same leggie and Richard Wheeler to the other youngster the score was still not into the 60s. Dean did his best to get the Park back on track with a few lusty blows with Ian Murrill the other end but when Dean fell and then Amelia getting a leading edge from the leggie (but after hitting one of the best timed drives of the day), the Park needed some exceptional to win the game
That exceptional requirement was very close to being satisfied by Ben. Supported by Eddie sprinting to let Ben keep the strike, Ben smashed several boundaries and Eddie did a sterling job at blocking out when needed. The pair managed to bring Knebworth into a winning position until Eddie was undone by an excellent delivery to bowl him with us finishing just 1 run short of the total.
Overall, an excellent game hopefully enjoyed by all players.