A depleted Potters Bar 2nd X1 came agonisingly close to victory, over Eversholt 1st X1 at The Walk on Saturday, as the visitor’s final pair played out 8 overs to frustrate the home side.
Skipper Dave Pett won the toss and boldly opted to bat first with a side missing no less than 5 regulars against the well organised visiting outfit from Bedfordshire.
Tom and Dan Pett opened the innings and whilst the crease was occupied comfortably, scoring runs proved to be more difficult against an accurate if not spectacular bowling attack. Despite playing a couple of glorious cover drives for 4, Dan the younger of the two brothers, was the first to be dismissed being bowled for 14 with the score on 42.
Peter Sogbodjor was next in however he was left frustrated when he was out soon after caught at mid on for a single. Tom was then joined by ex-first eleven captain Jared Norman and the pair immediately looked at ease as the runs began to flow more freely.
Tom played some fine shots passing 50 in style only to give the visitors a ray of light by playing a poor shot and being bowled for 64.
Wicketkeeper and young promising batsman Harrison Palmer then joined Norman at the wicket as the last 15 overs of the innings began. Norman continued the good work before sadly slightly under hitting a drive and being well caught at mid on looking to up the tempo.
Crucially this meant the home side had two new batters at the wicket and the visitors slow bowlers bowled with good discipline in making run scoring particularly difficult.
Wickets began to tumble regularly much to the frustration of the home side batsman and in truth the team were indebted once again to some lusty late order blows from Dan Brown to ensure 4 batting points were gained in a final total of 158-8 off the 53 over allocation.
The recalled slow left arm spin of the vastly experienced, ever confident Paul McGee was immediately brought into the bowling attack and an early knick behind into Palmers gloves, saw the home side’s confidence grow straight away.
When the visitors lost 3 more wickets to slump to 45-3 the game was very much in the balance. McGee was being well supported by 13 year old Thilan WalalLawitta fresh from his debut with Middlesex U14 the previous Sunday, as the visitors also found scoring runs tough.
Crucially the home side dropped a couple of easy chances to make further inroads in to the batting line up and the visitors started to sense victory, particularly when the number 3 batsman passed 50 and less than 90 runs were required with 7 wickets in hand.
A drinks break paid immediate dividends for the home side when McGee had the visiting captain caught by Dan Pett at mid on as the pressure began to tell.
The left arm spinning pair bowled splendidly in tandem, McGee using all of his experience and Thilan showing remarkable ability for one so young.
Wickets began to fall regularly and when McGee sneered his 6th victim and Wallalawitta his 3rd, it appeared that victory was within the home sides grasp.
Unfortunately, despite having 8 overs at the final pair the last wicket didn’t come, through the determination of numbers 10 and 11 who refused to give their wicket away.
Indeed this was the second home game running that the home side had managed to get the visitors 9 wickets down with just one more wicket required for victory.
Next week the team head to near neighbours North Enfield 1st X1 boosted by the return of many of this weeks missing personnel, looking for 30 points to continue the rise up the league table.