This Article is extracted from the League’s website after Luke’s brilliant hundred at Richmond in week 6. The pic is of Luke playing for the Midd's Under 9/10s against Holtwhites some years ago!
North Middlesex CC were ruthless in their all-round display away at Richmond CC, with a 200 run win. The saying ‘it’s a game of two halves”, was certainly evident as first up North Middlesex scored 276-3 off 60 overs as one of their openers scored yet another hundred. This week it was the turn of Luke Hollman who scored a brilliant 158 not out. It must have seemed like the teams were playing on another wicket for Richmond’s innings as the reigning league champions were blown away for 76, with Hollman taking 3-14, but the chief destroyer being Middlesex CCC’s and ex colt of the club Ethan Bamber who took 5-40, as North Middlesex continue to build up steam.
I caught up with the North Middlesex centurion, who continues to enhance his reputation, picking up from an amazing season last year.
“We were put in on a green wicket, which was quite firm underneath. I know it’s an odd thing to say but batting was not easy, especially up against a bowler with the quality of Dave Burton. I’m really good mates with Joe, we’ve grown up playing together and understand each other’s game. We spoke about building partnerships, but it was one of those wickets where you never felt really in. In contrast to Joe, I’m quite circumspect, whereas he likes to go after bowlers. I play what’s best for the team, and have honed my game down to play a way that suits us. Once I got to hundred, I decided to kick on and it was really pleasing to reach three figures not only as a personal milestone but against the league champions, whom we came close to beating last season. Ethan is another player who I’ve played a lot with, through the colts and now into senior cricket and having him play was good to see. Along with Joel who I think is the best seam bowler in the league, the pair of them were magnificent. We felt they didn’t attack the stumps, so that was our game plan, and with Joel bowling with so much control and skill, it allowed us to really go for them with Ethan being more attacking and exploiting the conditions.
We feel we really need to make a push for the title this year, as we have such a good squad and may not get a better chance. The win not only sent a message to the other teams but also distanced ourselves from Richmond in the table. Also with Ealing drawing it was a good day all round. We’re still involved in the T20 and Middlesex Cup, so will be aiming to go as far as we can.
I really enjoy playing for the club, and as a group we get on really well. Opening with Joe is so much fun, we both have a competitive edge but in a positive way. We’ve been allowed to nurture and grow, and don’t feel under any pressure. Ethan is a fantastic role model to us, seeing him become a professional has spurred me on to emulate him. I’ve just finished my A levels and will be able to focus on my cricket for the whole of the summer, for both Middlesex CCC and North Middlesex. It’s my last year at the Middlesex Academy, which is the same as Max Harris, so I‘ll be playing 2’s cricket then waiting anxiously to be told if I have secured a professional contract or not, which will be around the end of September.
If that doesn’t materialize, I’ll probably put my university plans on hold for a year and look to travel to New Zealand with Max and play some club cricket. I played some age group cricket for England in the past, and again it’s about being patient and waiting to see what happens, in regards to selection for their summer series they have coming up. However my main focus at the moment is performing well for both club and county, in winning the league and working hard to get a contract.”