Despite the wet wicket that greeted Hertford for their first Chess Valley league outing of the season on Sunday many in the side were mighty relived to be put into bat by Uxbridge as it allowed for extra recovery time following the trip to the Blackbirds the previous evening (Social Saturday).
After an early run out calamity involving George Pavey and Jamie Riddle, Elliot King and Jamie looked to negate the awkward conditions. Additionally hampered by a sluggish outfield, progress was relatively sedate by normal Chess Valley standards. By the time Jamie departed for 44, further impetus was required to get Hertford to a competitive total for the 45 over affair. With Rich Leather and Brad Dawson falling cheaply it was left to Elliot to go through his full repertoire of shots which included a couple of audacious ramps and some rarely seen six hitting action. Supported by skipper Richard Cordingley’s desire to try and run the opposition ragged, the score ticked passed the 200 mark come the end of the innings.
Although the wicket had got easier to score on throughout Hertford's innings it remained slow. The decision was made to shun Richard Leather’s new ball pace in place of the medium pace skills of Brad Dawson and Adam Marnoch. This paid immediate dividends with Uxbridge’s gun opening bat departing first ball. With Adam also picking up an early wicket and ably supporting Brad the scoring rate was kept well below the required 5+ an over. Thereafter the wicket seemed to get to an easier point for batting and led to a couple of partnerships moving the score on with an improved rate. A double wicket over from spinner Adam Carlson firmly tipped the match towards Hertford at the halfway mark, only for a quick fire 5th wicket partnership to put the game back in the balance, with Uxbridge requiring around 8 an over for the last 5 overs. By this time however, the Leather express had got up to speed and ripped through Hussain’s defences. The Uxbridge resistance continued but was snuffed out by Leather plus the returning Dawson and Marnoch to leave Hertford victors by 18 runs.
The game lived up to Chess Valley traditions of competitive cricket in a social atmosphere. Thanks to Geoff Cordingley and Mick Ray for supporting on the officiating front as well as Jack Rolls and Simon Dawson who excelled in their game the field despite not getting a chance to show their talents with bat or ball. Attention now turns to the next Chess Valley game on 18th June against fellow promoted team UCS Old Boys.