Potters Bar 2nd XI had another last over thriller at the weekend, but unlike the week before they came out victors in a pulsating game against Old Albanian. Skipper Greg Hodge lost the toss on an overcast day and was immediately asked to bat on a green looking wicket. Old Albanianâ€™s opening bowlers bowled with a lot of hostility and opener Mike Palmer was soon back in the hutch caught behind off the bowling of Kweis Roy.
Tom Pett and Tom Coughlan went about rebuilding Barâ€™s innings, with Pett looking to attack at every opportunity. The pair took Bar past 50 as the foundations started to be put together for a big score. Pett went for 29 when he was caught at point off the bowling of OAâ€™s skipper Graham Dill. Tom Coughlan followed soon after and Bar lost Mark Taylor for single figures leaving them 71 for 4 and in a bit of trouble.
Adam Norman and Luke Owers did a fantastic job of rebuilding Barâ€™s innings. The experienced Norman constantly encourage youngster Owers, who played fluently throughout his innings. A big six over square leg was the highlight of a beautiful innings of 41 by the 19 year old. When Norman perished for 31 veteran Dave Pett came into bat and he along with the tail saw that Bar batted out all their 53 overs to finish on 196 for 8. Pettâ€™s innings of 39 not out was vitally important and set-up a competitive score for OAâ€™s to chase.
Bar opened the bowling with the experienced pair of Chris Boyce and Mark Taylor, both bowlers kept things tight as OAâ€™s openers continually slipped below the run rate. Boyce was unlucky not to have opener Roy out on two or three occasions, but finally got his man when Roy pulled a long hop to mid-on where Greg Hodge held his first of three outfield catches.
Alf Rehman and Simon Gray struggled to get the ball away and the introduction of the left arm spin of Paul McGee further tightened Barâ€™s grip. Rehman eventually went for 22 stumped off the bowling of McGee and OAâ€™s sent in Nick Nguyen to try and up the run rate. Nguyen scored a quick fire 20 but at other end Gray still couldnâ€™t get the bowl away. Both batsmen fell in quick succession to the fired up Mark Taylor. Leaving OAâ€™s hopes resting on ex Bar player John Freedman.
Freedman batted well through out his innings and found support from OAâ€™s number who took a liking to the bowling of McGee. Luke Owers replaced McGee and immediately picked up a wicket, with Greg Hodge catching a skier. Matt Corran and Freedman then continued to edge OAâ€™s closer and Hodge turned back to opening bowler Chris Boyce to tighten things up. A run rate of seven an over off the last six overs seemed do able, but Bar also smelt victory with the chance of picking up wickets. Corran skied Taylor to the legside, where Hodge took his third catch having run round from extra cover.
With three overs remaining OAâ€™s need 30 and Hodge turned back to McGee in an effort to prize out the last wickets. OAâ€™s skipper Dill batting with a runner, following an earlier groin injury was run out for single figures. Freedman went in the penultimate over for a well craft 40, caught at deep backward square leg off the bowling of Taylor. Going into the last over OAâ€™s need 12 runs and Bar two wickets. With last weeks defeat still fresh in the memory McGee took the ball, a run out first ball from Tom Coughlan meant the pressure was on OAâ€™s, but they still looked to go for the victory. A dot ball followed by two runs left nine off three balls, McGee then bowled OAâ€™s number 11 and Bar celebrated their first win of the season.
After the game skipper Greg Hodge was jubilant and said: â€œThe batting set us up for victory here, Luke Owers batted very well and has put down a marker for the season, Adam Norman offered good support and the encouragement senior players should bring and Dave Pett played a lovely cameo at the end to prove his doubters wrong. On the bowling front Taylor picked up four wickets and bowled tightly and Macca showed great desire to bowl the final over after last week. Hopefully we can kick on from here and string some good results together.â€
Next week Bar face local rivals Cockfosters who have won three out of three game this season and sit top of the league. Bar will be welcoming back Chris Stead, who played briefly for Barâ€™s 1st XI last year.