Bar register third win of the season
Potters Bar 2nd XI notched up their third victory of the season on Saturday with an impressive run chase against Ampthill Town 1st XI. Bar skipper Greg Hodge lost the toss and was asked to field first on an overcast day, but on a typically flat Walk wicket.
Things got off to a good start for Bar, with skipper Hodge picking up a wicket in the second over rather fortuitously as Matt Evans held on to a diving catch at square leg. From there Bar struggled to press home the early advantage. Townâ€™s opener and number 3 played with a lot of luck, edging the ball over the slips and driving continuously in the air. Skipper Hodge had Townâ€™s opener dropped twice off his bowling. At the other end the evergreen Chris Boyce was bowling excellently and he had Townâ€™s number 3 out LBW for 24. He then picked up a second bowled and removed Ampthillâ€™s number five for 0 LBW. Boyce now has 18 wickets from six games this season and is bowling as well as ever.
Skipper Hodge finally removed Amtphillâ€™s opener for 32, with Adam Norman holding a good catch. The dismissal left Ampthill 65 for 5 and staring down the barrel. However an excellent partnership of over 70 between Townâ€™s numbers 6 and 7 moved the score along. Luke Owersâ€™ off spin was proving testing and he finally got his reward when he had the number 7 out for 42. He followed up with two more wickets as Ampthill slugged their way towards 200. Skipper Hodge came back to pick up his third wicket, whilst Owers proved hard to get away. In the end Ampthillâ€™s innings closed on 189 for 9, leaving Bar with a gettable but tricky target.
Mike Palmer and Tom Pett started Barâ€™s innings cautiously. Both batters watched the ball carefully and after a slow start got into gear. Pett in particular looked very strong off his legs. The pair brought up their 50 partnership in the 15 over and then started to accelerate the run rate. Palmer fell to an uncharacteristic shot as he swung like a rusty gate at a straight ball and was bowled for 32.
Pett was joined by Adam Norman he stroked a lovely four second ball, unfortunately next over Pett called Norman through for an impossible single and Norman was run out by half a pitch. Young Pett didnâ€™t let the run out affect him and imposed himself further on the game lofting the ball with ease on the legside. He brought up his first 50 of the season with a flick off his legs, but a loss in concentration saw him bowled next ball.
The Coughlan brothers, Oliver and Tom, kept up the run rate, with the former batting with his new found freedom. With the scoreboard in overdrive Olly was bowled for 28 and Bar were well on their way to victory. Dave Pett kept things ticking with Tom Coughlan, with the pair finding the boundary every over, the required run rate was down at 3 an over when, Pett had a head rush and tried to run two to the keeper and was given run out.
Matt Evans joined Coughlan as Bar pushed for victory. With Evans a little subdued Coughlan pushed Bar on and 13 runs were required from the final three overs. Evans who had been soliciting at the ball in the previous over, strode down the wicket second ball and launched the bowler for four over his head, he tried the same shot next ball but didnâ€™t quite reach the pitch, no matter the result was the same and Bar were five short of victory. Another lofted drive for four from Evans off the final ball of the over left Bar requiring one run, which Coughlan stroked for four off the first ball of the 45th over, leaving him 38 not out and Bar with their third win of the season.
After the game skipper Hodge was very pleased: â€œWe have batted very well today, normally we have a few more scares chasing a total like this, but Palmy and young Tom set the foundations and the Coughlan brothers batted well together. From a bowling point of view, Luke has probably bowled better in the last two weeks than he has ever before and I am sure a big wicket haul is just around the corner for him.â€
Pictures: Luke and Tom arrive and Boycie in usual happy mood