This decision seemed like a sensible one as D. Orchard and Rhodes both bowled well in the opening overs. Dan in particular was rewarded for his testing spell with the wicket of Stevenson (Jnr) as Allenburys were unable to really get away from Hertford. Dan was soon replaced by his brother Tom who immediately got into his finger-ridden-rhythm and bowled well with Rhodes.
Once Rhodes had seen out another intolerable opening spell, 2ndXI-debutant Osborn had a bowl and returned steady figures including claiming the wicket of Murnane in seeing out his 10 over allotment. T. Orchard was then joined by Carlson, who needed no extra motivation facing the very team he played for in his capricious 2018. Both of them were excellent, picking up 6 wickets between them, and Carlson in particular proving prudent with his economy – despite this, Allenburys number 3 Schlaepfer had swiped his way to an essential 88 before Orchard ended his innings as well, pushing Allenbury’s along.
The bowlers were ably assisted throughout by some excellent glove work from Lyte behind the stump’s, however because of Schlaefer’s innings, and the fact that Allenbury’s had managed to keep a few wickets in hand they were able to finish on 241 from their 50 overs.
Openers Joyce and Chandler set about the run chase in good style and found themselves cantering along at 5 an over. Joyce (as expected) had informed Chandler in the 2nd over that he had ‘done a hamstring’ and so largely decided to deal in boundaries, this was supported by the Allenbury’s bowlers who decided to test his ability to put away the long-hop. After Joyce departed for a virtuous 46 and Hertford on 80-1 there was a rain delay which shortened the game, and the target, to 231 from 48 overs.
With the new target in mind Golder joined Chandler and together they put on an excellent partnership worth 88, Golder fell for solid 47 which had come at a good rate whilst Chandler occupied himself with the anchor role. This left Hertford needing 60 runs to win and fear of more rain meant that the batsman tried to up the rate, Ray fell in pursuit but this brought Carlson to the crease who steadied any nerves by striking a clean 20* at over a run a ball. Chandler fell for an excellent 80 with just 3 runs needed to win, continuing his life long tradition of not being able to finish anything off (Martyn’s wife, 2019). However Lyte was on hand to complete his solid day by spanking his only ball for 4 and Hertford cantered home the winners.
A post-game interview with Chandler revealed; “240 was probably an over-par score that Allenbury’s set, the pitch was doing plenty all-day – it really does highlight how excellent a knock my 88 really was”. There we have it, the secret to the 2ndXI’s early season success is solid batting, great bowling and a healthy dose of modesty from the captain.