Potters Bar were involved in a fantastic, hard game of cricket at Welwyn Garden City and their fine run of form continued as they won a close fought encounter.
On a stunning morning Bar skipper Steve Gale called wrongly and the hosts batted first on a really true and flat surface. However Bar got off to a roaring start as spinner Thilan Walallawita found the edge of Louis Champion's bat and he was smartly taken at slip for 0. Better was to follow as the leagues top run scorer for the last two seasons, Owais Shah was bowled for just 9 and at 15 for 2 Bar were rightly cock-a-hoop.
However the hosts hunkered in and both Dan Blacktopp and James Southgate played nicely and batted themselves into a good place and right back in the game and were shaking hands celebrating a 50 partnership in 59 balls. As they were looking to up the rate, Blacktopp (44) went to a fine catch behind the stumps by Ashane Wijesuriya and when skipper Andy Nolan was smartly taken at a wide mid-on, the hosts were again under the pump at 98 for 4.
However like a few Welwyn batters, James Southgate has a fine record against Bar and was looking well set for a big score. Remarkably he scored 44 consecutive singles in 63 balls as he nudged and nurdled his way to a solid 50. However Bar kept at it and James Southgate kept losing his batting partners as they looked set to power on. Jamie Hewitt went caught in the deep for 20 and Alex Chalker for just 4 as Welwyn were reduced to 140 for 6.
Matt Grant joined Southgate and they put on 44 in 61 balls but the Aussie spinner skied to mid off and when Conor Emerton was run out next ball, Welwyn were struggling at 185 for 8 with 52 balls left.
Still James Southgate powered on, scoring 37 in his last 16 balls, completing his 100 and finishing 115* from 131 balls and putting on a vital unbeaten 63 in 54 balls with Shay Emerton. With that Welwyn ended 248 for 8 from their 50 over allocation. With the ball Bar bowled and fielded well, with Thilan Walallawita taking 4 for 39.
So 249 to win and Bar got off to a shocker as Steve Gale was excellently taken at slip by Owais Shah for just 6 and when Pat Scott played on for 17 Bar were in trouble at 35 for 2. The volume increased in the field as the hosts smelt blood and writers ear drums suffering as if an amp was to blow but run machine Rehan Hassan was joined by Rishi Patel. The two Bar batters looked in little trouble as they found the boundary pretty much every over as they batted Bar in to a powerful position.
The pair put on 74 in 100 balls but Rishi Patel perished at long on for 39 and when Charlie Scott was run out for just 8 Welwyn had Bar 4 down for 124 needing 125 to win in 26 overs. Rehan Hassan completed his 6th fifty of the season to go with his 2 hundreds in a sedate 88 balls, but when he too was run out, this time for 52 Bar were 166 for 5 and starting to wobble.
However James Scott was playing a fine hand he swept his and Bar's total to 200 as he and Ashane Wijesuriya looked in little trouble.
Ashane Wijesuriya perished in Matt Grant's final over for 21 and at 209 for 6, still needing 40 in 50 balls it was real squeaky bum time. James Scott completed his 50 as he was almost in a bubble of goodness as he was making batting look as easy as anyone had done all day. Both he and Thilan Walallawita neared the target as 16 from the 47th over pretty much saw Bar home.
Two boundaries from James Scott, the second saw him past 2000 Potters Bar ECB League runs and complete a fine 4 wicket win over their nearest and dearest rivals. The eldest of the Scott clan ended unbeaten on 72 from 67 balls, hitting 9 boundaries and a six.
All in all there have been three excellent games between these two fine teams this summer but it's Potters Bar who will meet Radlett in the Playoff final next weekend at Welwyn Garden City to see who is the Herts League Champion for 2019