'Herculean' WGC still looking for another league title

PUBLISHED: 11:56 03 June 2018 | UPDATED: 12:07 03 June 2018

Welwyn Garden City's Dan Blacktopp faces a delivery from Letchworth Garden City's Jonny Harris in the match between Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City. Picture: DANNY LOO

Welwyn Garden City's Dan Blacktopp faces a delivery from Letchworth Garden City's Jonny Harris in the match between Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Welwyn Garden City's players still believe they are good enough to clinch a third Saracens Herts Cricket League Premier Division title after watching his side demolish Letchworth Garden City.

Welwyn Garden City's Louis Champion faces a delivery from Letchworth Garden City's Jonny Harris in the match between Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City. Picture: DANNY LOOWelwyn Garden City's Louis Champion faces a delivery from Letchworth Garden City's Jonny Harris in the match between Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City. Picture: DANNY LOO

The visitors to the Digswell Park-based cricket club won the toss and elected to field with overcast skies despite what was still a warm and muggy day.

Welwyn Garden City's Louis Champion runs between the wicket in the match between Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City. Picture: DANNY LOOWelwyn Garden City's Louis Champion runs between the wicket in the match between Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City. Picture: DANNY LOO

But WGC were in irresistible form with both the bat and ball.

Welwyn Garden City's Dan Blacktopp and Louis Champion in the middle during the match between Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City. Picture: DANNY LOOWelwyn Garden City's Dan Blacktopp and Louis Champion in the middle during the match between Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City. Picture: DANNY LOO

Dan Blacktopp’s 106 not out was the standout performance in the game’s first innings, although a 60-ball 72 from Owais Shah and 62 from Louis Champion weren’t far behind as the hosts got to 318-4 in their 50 overs.

Welwyn Garden City's Louis Champion faces a delivery from Letchworth Garden City's Maxford Pipe in the match between Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City. Picture: DANNY LOOWelwyn Garden City's Louis Champion faces a delivery from Letchworth Garden City's Maxford Pipe in the match between Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City. Picture: DANNY LOO

And the match was done and dusted in the opening stages of the reply as four wickets fell in the first 36 balls.

Welwyn Garden City's Dan Blacktopp faces a delivery from Letchworth Garden City's Maxford Pipe in the match between Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City. Picture: DANNY LOOWelwyn Garden City's Dan Blacktopp faces a delivery from Letchworth Garden City's Maxford Pipe in the match between Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City. Picture: DANNY LOO

And to the City captain, the performance proved the reigning champions are still a force to be reckoned with.

The umpire takes evasive action as Welwyn Garden City's Dan Blacktopp hits a straight shot into the opposite stumps in the match between Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City. Picture: DANNY LOOThe umpire takes evasive action as Welwyn Garden City's Dan Blacktopp hits a straight shot into the opposite stumps in the match between Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City. Picture: DANNY LOO

Nolan said: “We turned up today and Dan [Blacktopp] played a herculean effort with the bat.

Letchworth Garden City in the field in the match between Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City. Picture: DANNY LOOLetchworth Garden City in the field in the match between Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City. Picture: DANNY LOO

“He anchored the innings and [318] was a big total.

Letchworth Garden City's Harry Aitkenhead bowls against Welwyn Garden City in the match between Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City. Picture: DANNY LOOLetchworth Garden City's Harry Aitkenhead bowls against Welwyn Garden City in the match between Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City. Picture: DANNY LOO

“The wicket started to spin a bit and with our spinners we were able to turn the screw.

Letchworth Garden City's Harry Aitkenhead bowls against Welwyn Garden City in the match between Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City. Picture: DANNY LOOLetchworth Garden City's Harry Aitkenhead bowls against Welwyn Garden City in the match between Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City. Picture: DANNY LOO

“We got off to a good start. Connor bowled really well with the new ball and Owais does what he does best, bowling at the other end.

“It’s good to get back to winning ways.

“We’re trying to win the league again this year and hopefully this jumps us up the table a bit.”

It has been a frustrating start to the year for WGC with just one win from their first four games prior to this success.

But the victory has them up to fifth, one place outside of the end-of-season play-offs and just 22 points behind the leading pair of Radlett and West Herts, who tied their game on Saturday.

Nolan said: “Last week [against Hertford] we just didn’t turn up.

“We played well for large parts of the game but when it came to batting we just played some silly shots and got ourselves in trouble.

“We’ve still got a very good squad of players. I mean you don’t become a bad team overnight.

“We believe we’re going to be there or thereabouts and that’s the belief we’ve got in the changing room.”

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Welwyn Hatfield Times

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists