Potters Bar 2nd XI faced a last ball defeat to Division 2 rivals Broxbourne 1st XI last Saturday, despite being on top for the large majority of the game. Skipper Greg Hodge had one the toss and elected to bat on a typically flat Walk wicket. With the weather set fair for the day the plan was clearly to pile on as many runs as possible and then turn to the spin twins of Paul McGee and Luke Owers.
The game started in bizarre fashion when off the seventh ball of the day opener Matt Evans managed to lose the new ball in the bowls club through an inconspicuous looking off drive, a long delay then took place before the game resumed with another new ball. Evans fell for five in the next over thanks to a fantastic catch at second slip, but at the other end Tom Pett was looking in good touch driving the ball beautifully. However with the score on 20 Pett fell to a stereotypical family dismissal as he turned blind for a second run and was run out by three foot.
Pettâ€™s dismissal brought the returning Olly Coughlan to the crease, with Bar 20 for 2 he and his brother Tom Coughlan had a battle on their hands. Olly looked to dominate from the start and batted aggressively against Broxbourneâ€™s seamers, driving fluidly through the offside and looking even stronger off his legs. Tom was playing a nice innings himself at the other end and Bar were racing along at over five an over.
Bar confidently passed 100 just after the 20 over mark when unfortunately they lost Tom Coughlan to a soft run out that was reminiscent of family cricket in the garden. Mark Taylor joined Olly, who now was now at his free flowing best, hooking the ball over the doctors surgery and depositing a 6 down into the pavilion. Taylor hit a flourish of boundaries and then almost bizarrely blocked out the first maiden he had faced since Maggie Thatcher took away school milk. Taylor fell for 14 but a partnership of over 30 meant Bar were flying. Dave Pett and Coughlan saw Bar to 184 for 4 in the 40th over and a score of 250 plus looked on the cards. However Coughlan sustained a knee injury and fell a beautiful 97 and Pett followed him soon after. Bar then somehow contrived to collapse to 211 all out in 50.5 overs, generously gifting their opponentâ€™s two extra overs in the run chase.
Chris Boyce and Greg Hodge opened the bowling and it was immediately clear that the wicket was offering little for the seamers; Broxbourneâ€™s opener Davidson looked particularly strong through the legside. Boyce did pick up one wicket caught behind by Paul Martin, but it wasnâ€™t long before the spinners were on. Davidson along with Broxbourneâ€™s number three played a number of aerial shots, none of which went to hand. A chance to Owers was put down off his own bowling and it wasnâ€™t until Davidson hit McGee to Boyce at mid on that Bar had another breakthrough. Davidson had scored 52 in typically aggressive style. Broxbourneâ€™s skipper Joel Bailey fell for 0 caught and bowled by McGee and the run rate started to mount.
Owers managed to dismiss Broxbourneâ€™s number three, bowled for a well made 36, and it looked like a draw was the inevitable results. Skipper Hodge kept the spinners on and tried to entice Broxbourne into the chase, three dropped catches meant that Bar were not able to exert their pressure and Broxbourne were always in the hunt, despite being seven wickets down. Going into the last over Broxbourne required 14, a huge six off McGeeâ€™s fourth ball meant that were five were needed off the last two balls. A single off the fifth ball left a boundary to win itâ€¦ off the final ball a huge six was sent into the bowls club and meant Broxbourne had pulled off an unlikely win.
After the game skipper Greg Hodge said: â€œCredit must go to Broxbourne for still going for it, I felt the spinners were our only chance of winning the game and sometimes I guess you have to risk losing the game to try and win it. Alas today we have lost, but we probably should have scored 30 or 50 more runs and it is the catches that have hurt us. On a positive note it was great to see Olly bat like that and hopefully he will be around every week, Luke Owers also bowled well.â€