A win is always good, but it’s all the sweeter when it’s against your nearest neighbours. That was the case as today we racked up a convincing five wicket win over Stevenage in Saracens Herts League Division 2a.
It was a terrific result for the youngest Park side to take the field for a first team game with six aged under 23 and all but two of the team having come through the club’s youth system.
Opening bowler Gareth Jones who took 4 for 32 set them on their way as Stevenage crumbled to 25 for 5 inside the first eight overs. At one point Jones took three wickets in only seven balls as four of the first six batsmen were out for a duck.
Jones was backed up by fellow opening bowler Ollie O’Brien with 2 for 23.
Stevenage rallied from 25 for 6 to 102 all out thanks to Moses Anil 22, Rhys Stewart 15 and Sean Tyler 30 before off spinner Mo Asif wrapped up the innings with 2 for 2.
Josh Roseberry 21 held the Park’s response together with a patient innings as the home side sought to rattle the Park’s youngsters.
Opening bowler left armer Stewart with 3 for 34 kept them under pressure before O’Brien completed a strong all round performance with an excellent 42 including eight 4s. He was supported by Matt Inman 10 not out to take them within sight of victory.
Comeback kid Oli Laws Mather who had an excellent first team debut behind the stumps then helped them home with 5 not out as Knebworth ended on 106 for 5 to win with 17 overs to spare.
Kobie Richmond scored a superb 99 before being run out on 99 as Knebworth Park 2nd lost by six wickets to Hertford 3rds.
After Danny Digweed retired hurt after the first under 14 Kobie with a brilliantly composed innings steadied the ship with James Hobbs.
Richmond made his way up to 50 when he was joined at the crease by another promising junior Amelia Kemp (27) and they showed everyone how to do it with some controlled and attacking batting.
Richmond very quickly made his way into the 90s and looked set for his first 100 of the season but as the overs started to run out Kobie was unfortunately run out on 99.
Skipper Robert Morley (22) came in with 3 overs to spare and they finished on 214 after their 45 overs.
Hertford set off to quick in and looked to have things under control as they got on top of the opening bowlers Niels Hart and Amelia Kemp. Al Richmond was brought into the attack and got a breakthrough in his first over but in all fairness never looked troubled as they reached 215 with only the loss of 4 wickets.
Knebworth Park 3rd XI lost by six wickets to Hoddesdon 3rds.
They started in fine fashion with Ryan Hassall (27) making it all look very easy and regularly dispatching the opening bowlers to the boundary. Unfortunately wickets then tumbled very quickly until Kezia Hassall (39) & Dean Digweed (21) steadied the ship. Despite this Knebworth Park scored a below par 132.
Hoddesdon’s reply began raoidly with 50 runs coming from the first seven overs. This forced injured captain James Roos to bring himself onto bowl and with two wickets in consecutive balls in his first over it looked like Knebworth were back in the game. However, Hoddesdon dug in well and won comfortably in the end.
With Datchworth withdrawing from the league, Hitchin kindly offered to send a team to KPCC for a friendly against the 4s. Knebworth won the toss and elected to bat.
With very tidy bowling from Hitchin’s opening bowlers and the first change bowlers too, KPCC struggled to get going with only 30 coming from the first 10 and also losing wichets in the next 10 to be at one point 48-5 from 16 with Phil Wheeler for a good 27 but with no one else in double figures and John Inman batting at 6 unfortunately getting run out for a duck. Things didn’t look good for the Park.
However, Jonathan Cirkel came in at 7 and quickly managed to get the innings going and hitting a 6 reached his 50 from 31 balls. Supported by Nick Banks (12) at the other end then by Charlotte Banks (25) who hit some beautifully timed shots, the Park moved to a decent defendable score.
Jonathan fell for 87 in the 38th over and with a couple of decent blows from U14 James Bedford (8) in his first Saturday game the innings closed on 210 all out on the last ball of the 40.
Hitchin started their reply well with skipper Stuart Gasden being a constant threat to anything on the stumps or leg side. Despite a couple of break throughs by Charlotte Banks with Nick Banks and Jonathan taking catches, Stuart continued battling his way to 69 before eventually Phil Wheeler took a good high catch at mid-on from Catherine Cirkel.
The match really turned with the arrival of Hitchin’s opening bowler Sundaram who batted very sensibly and was supported by experienced Simon Warren (20) to see their side home with just 4 balls of the match remaining.
The match was played in excellent spirits and thanks go to Hitchin for bringing the side down to ensure the 4s got a game.