Derby joy for Knebworth Park as their young guns get better of Stevenage

PUBLISHED: 16:15 04 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:15 04 August 2020

Gareth Jones grabbed four wickets for Knebworth Park against Stevenage. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Gareth Jones grabbed four wickets for Knebworth Park against Stevenage. Picture: KARYN HADDON

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Knebworth Park picked up one of those wonderful wins – a derby success over Stevenage in Division Two A.

It was a convincing five-wicket win and made all the more pleasing by the fact that all bar two of the Park players had come through the club’s youth system, with six of them still 23 and under.

Opening bowler Gareth Jones, who took 4-32, set them on their way as Stevenage crumbled to 25-5 inside the first eight overs. At one point Jones took three wickets in only seven balls as four of the first six batsmen were out for a duck.

He was backed up by fellow opening bowler Ollie O’Brien who ended with 2-23.

Stevenage did rally, Sean Tyler hitting 30 and Moses Anil 22, but although that brought some respectability to the score, they still only just managed to get into three figures, closing on 102 all out.

Mo Asif wrapped up the innings with 2-2.

A patient knock from Josh Roseberry (21) held Park’s response together as the home side sought to rattle the Park’s youngsters.

Rhys Stewart was chief among that offensive, going on to take 3-34 but O’Brien’s excellent 42 including eight fours got them close and young debutant Oli Laws-Mather, alongside Matt Inman got them over the line with 17 overs to spare.

Elsewhere there wasn’t as much happiness though.

The second team lost by six wickets to Hertford although the highlight was a superb 99 by U14 Kobie Richmond.

He came in after Danny Digweed retired hurt and his brilliantly composed innings only ended with an unfortunate run-out, one run shy of his century.

He was helped along the way by another promising junior Amelia Kemp who got 27 as Park finished on 214.

However, that was never really a target Hertford looked like missing, despite the best efforts of Al Richmond.

The thirds also lost by six wickets to Hoddesdon, Kezia Hassell top-scoring with 39 and skipper James Roos claiming two wickets, while the fourths went down in a thrilling contest with Hitchin.

Park batted first with Jonathan Cirkel hitting 50 from 31 balls on his way to a magnificent 87.

They reached 210 and had Hitchin fighting all the way to the last over before the winning runs were scored with four balls left.

Stevenage’s other results were mixed meanwhile.

The seconds match away to Hatfield Hyde was cancelled because of COVID-19 worries and the thirds went down by 50 runs at St Margaretsbury despite 43 from Balaram Jujjavarapu and 48 for Suman Iranganti.

The fifths were also defeated, losing to Hitchin by 94 runs, with three wickets for Chandra Jetty.

However, the fourths won, beating Bushey by five wickets, Deep Mankani taking 3-33, and Luke Wilkinson thumped 78 as the sixths beat Botany Bay by four wickets.


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