Harpenden defeat caps a perfect day and clean sweep of wins for Welwyn Garden

PUBLISHED: 16:30 23 May 2018

Welwyn Garden City Cricket Club, Digswell Park, Knightsfield, AL8 7NQ. Action of the match between Welwyn Garden City Fielding v Harpenden Batting.
Southgate bowling for Welwyn Garden City.
Picture: Melissa Page.

Welwyn Garden City Cricket Club, Digswell Park, Knightsfield, AL8 7NQ. Action of the match between Welwyn Garden City Fielding v Harpenden Batting. Southgate bowling for Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Melissa Page.

Archant

It was the perfect weekend for Welwyn Garden City Cricket Club as all four teams won in the sunshine.

Welwyn Garden City Cricket Club, Digswell Park, Knightsfield, AL8 7NQ. Action of the match between Welwyn Garden City Fielding v Harpenden Batting.
Simon Bridgewater bowling for Welwyn Garden City.
Picture: Melissa Page.Welwyn Garden City Cricket Club, Digswell Park, Knightsfield, AL8 7NQ. Action of the match between Welwyn Garden City Fielding v Harpenden Batting. Simon Bridgewater bowling for Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Melissa Page.

The first team led the way with a fine victory over Harpenden at Digswell Park which on paper seemed likely to be a close affair.

Welwyn Garden City Cricket Club, Digswell Park, Knightsfield, AL8 7NQ. Action of the match between Welwyn Garden City Fielding v Harpenden Batting.
Owais Shah bowling for Welwyn Garden City.
Picture: Melissa Page.Welwyn Garden City Cricket Club, Digswell Park, Knightsfield, AL8 7NQ. Action of the match between Welwyn Garden City Fielding v Harpenden Batting. Owais Shah bowling for Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Melissa Page.

That wasn’t the case though as WGC romped home to a five-wicket win with 15 overs to spare.

Welwyn Garden City Cricket Club, Digswell Park, Knightsfield, AL8 7NQ. Action of the match between Welwyn Garden City Fielding v Harpenden Batting.
Owais Shah bowling for Welwyn Garden City.
Picture: Melissa Page.Welwyn Garden City Cricket Club, Digswell Park, Knightsfield, AL8 7NQ. Action of the match between Welwyn Garden City Fielding v Harpenden Batting. Owais Shah bowling for Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Melissa Page.

Choosing to bat first on a good deck, Harpenden found the going tough with the seam of Connor Emerton and spin of Owais Shah tying them down.

Welwyn Garden City Cricket Club, Digswell Park, Knightsfield, AL8 7NQ. Action of the match between Welwyn Garden City Fielding v Harpenden Batting.
Simon Bridgewater bowling for Welwyn Garden City.
Picture: Melissa Page.Welwyn Garden City Cricket Club, Digswell Park, Knightsfield, AL8 7NQ. Action of the match between Welwyn Garden City Fielding v Harpenden Batting. Simon Bridgewater bowling for Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Melissa Page.

After 20 overs they were 68-3 but 66 for the eighth wicket from Nick Lamb and Alex Axon got Harps to a defendable total of 202.

Welwyn Garden City Cricket Club, Digswell Park, Knightsfield, AL8 7NQ. Action of the match between Welwyn Garden City Fielding v Harpenden Batting.
Ben Clements batting for Harpenden.
Picture: Melissa Page.Welwyn Garden City Cricket Club, Digswell Park, Knightsfield, AL8 7NQ. Action of the match between Welwyn Garden City Fielding v Harpenden Batting. Ben Clements batting for Harpenden. Picture: Melissa Page.

Matt Grant was the top wicket-taker, finishing with 3-50.

And despite losing Louis Champion early, Alex Chalker (28) and Shah (97) saw City through, leaving a patient 35 from skipper Andrew Nolan to guide them to a first win of the season.

The seconds produced an incredible run chase to beat North Enfield by one wicket.

They had been set 253 to beat but an opening stand of 173 between skipper Matthew Hill (91) and Andrew Lovell (71) in 24 overs seemed to have the game sewn up.

However, the introduction of Richard Sanders removed both openers in consecutive deliveries and started a mini collapse.

And WGC needed a 25 from Chris Molyneux plus nerves of steel from numbers 10 and 11, Matt Wells and Will Sarchet, to get them to 256-9 and over the line.

Wells and Elliott Gregg had earlier taken 3-54 and 2-54 respectively.

The thirds won by four wickets against Old Finchleians 2nds and a superb bowling performance set them on their way.

Joe Bilyard took 4-10 and James Sumpter 2-8 as the Finchley side were bowled out for 107.

The reply took 22.4 overs with Liam Mitchell (28*) and Daniel Cope (27) top-scoring.

And the fourths completed the day with a nine-run win away to Hitchin 3rds.

Half-centuries from Leroy Van de Westerhuizen (56) and Steve Willis (83*) as well as good knocks from James Woolley (48), Nathan Trigg (27) and Sandeep Sharma (20) took them to 290.

The pitch was still good after tea and Hitchin ran WGC close but 4-32 from Pat Lynch and 4-39 for Woolley was enough.

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