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Cricket: Harlow Town struggle in the sun

Cricket / Wed 15th Jun 2022 am30 07:34am

LAST Saturday saw Harlow Town’s first XI make the journey over to one of the four new teams to the league for this year, after the host’s foray into Division 1 last season. Skipper Ronnie Yates won the toss and, unable to refuse the allure of double points now that the format has reverted to time games, chose to bat first. He was left to rue this decision almost immediately after losing a wicket in the fifth over for the grand total of just two runs. This set the tone for what would turn out to be a disappointing attempt to set a decent score for the home team to chase. Town eventually dragged themselves to 145 all out after some unselfish (but also unsuccessful) attempted late hitting from the lower order and tail. Daniel Farmer top scored with 47, but will have been frustrated not to make a big score after spending a long time in the middle.

With the ball, things were only marginally better. Horndon put on 40 runs for the opening wicket, before a flurry of wickets left Town with a sliver of a chance with the score at 72-4. Unfortunately, the experience of Horndon’s middle order saw them home without any further loss. Town didn’t go down without a fight, using 7 different bowlers and catching every chance that came their way. Farmer was the only bowler to make a breakthrough, taking all 4 wickets and demonstrating the strength in depth that the team has, where it could be said that they have 4 or 5 genuine all-rounders. 

Ultimately though, they were left to rue what could have been and on a different day where decisions go their way, the result may well have been the other way round. 

Harlow will be looking to bounce back next weekend when they welcome (no-so-local) rivals Leigh-on-Sea to Ash Tree Field. 

Harlow Town 2nd XI hosted Walthamstow 2nd XI, looking to win a fourth in a row and carry on their fine form of recent weeks. Skipper Aaron Simpson, playing his 200th game for the townies won the toss and elected to bowl. Vineet Jain and Tom Wilcox opened the bowling and put the pressure on early. Vineet made the first breakthrough finding the edge of Hussain caught at first slip. He carried on the excellent spell taking 3 more wickets in one over. Tom Wilcox picked up one wicket for 23 runs in his ten overs. Walthamstow were restricted to 60-5 when Simon Rowell and Mahadev Madupuri came on to bowl. The visitors skipper steadied the ship and the game started to open up more just when the townies thought the was in for an early tea. Daniel McNamara eventually went for 48 caught and bowled by Madupuri. The Townies were struggling to keep the pressure on so a change of bowling was on the cards. Dan Gleeson bowled three overs for 7 runs and his only wicket came off a leg side stumping from Pettengell. Vineet Jain came back on at the end with his eyes on a five wicket hall and to clean the tailend up. Luckily he got two wickets in his 3.3 overs to end on figures of 6-43 off 13.3 overs. Walthamstow set a respectable 165ao off 41.3 overs on a hard batting deck.

Darryl Pettengell opened the batting with skipper Aaron Simpson and got the chase off to a flying start. After reaching a quick half century, it was clear Pettengell didn’t want to hang around. After a 103 opening partnership Pettengell eventually fell for 75. No one was expecting what happened next with the form the Townies have been in. the ball was moving off the seam and an uneven bounce Harlow Town collapsed to 139-7 with Simpson scoring 25 and Richardson chipping in with 18. Wilcox, Wood and Manning all fell for 0 in the middle order and the nerves started to kick in. Madupuri and Gleeson stuck around long enough to eventually see it home, albeit some luck with the ball carry over the slips heads and landing in between fielders. Walthamstow’s Sharma finished on 4-48 off 10 overs and Syed 3-36 off 8 overs respectfully.

Winning four in a row means the second XI sit third in the league with confidence sky high in the team. Next week sees the 2s travel to Benfleet in what is normally a tough game against fellow promotion chasers.

Harlow Town 3rd Team hosted a very strong Sawbridgeworth 3rd Team. Harlow Town captain James Williamson lost the toss of a coin again meaning he has not won one all season with Sawbridgeworth opting to bat first. The opening pair from the start were on the attack and the Harlow Town bowlers and fielders struggled at times in the heat. Harlow Town eventually got one of the openers out with some fine bowling by John Rogan and a good catch by the captain James Williamson then John took another wicket by a catch being taken by Sarang Kanakan. The other opener started to push more for runs and was lucky to survive a few dropped catches but went on to get 134 before finally being bowled by James Williamson. With overs running out Sawbridgeworth really went for it before James took another wicket by a good catch in the deep by Dan Pullen before finally reaching 267 for 4 in 40 overs.

The task of getting to this total was going to be extremely hard for the team that had posted 179 as their highest runs this season. After a few overs we were behind the run rate and losing wickets with some really good tight bowling by Sawbridgeworth, no batsman got set and the captain James Williamson top scored with 19 not out batting at number 9. We did our best and in the end reached 120 for 8 in the 40 overs.

We as a team need to hold our hands up and say that we were beaten by the better team but with positives coming from the game that new player to the side Jack Flowers batted well and the team staying together not letting there heads go down and for the first time this season batting a full 40 overs. We go into our game next week away to Ardeley Walkern in good spirits and look forward to bouncing back to winning ways to take as many points as we can.

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