Bovingdon go second after victory over Crusaders

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Bovingdon jumped ahead of Hatfield Crusaders on Saturday with another away victory and into second place in Herts League Division 6B.

Jack Blackburn got them off to the perfect start by picking up two wickets and reducing Hatfield to 0-2 with inswinging yorkers in the first over.

Blackburn ended with figures of 4-24 from his ten overs, and another excellent spell with the new ball from Fred Rodwell returned 2-21. A wicket for change bowler Matt Boyd left Hatfield in real trouble at 85-7, but the tail wagged and got the home side up to 175-9. Luke Stickland and Ian Arnold were the other wicket takers.

The run chase didn’t get off to a much better start than the first innings had done as Michael Buttleman was removed with the score still on 0.

A 102 run partnership between Jack Blackburn (73) and Ian Arnold (27) looked like it had won the game for Bovingdon. This was before a middle order collapse quickly saw 102-1 turn into 161-7 with only Stickland (15) and Ed Canham (17) reaching double figures. Paul Fidler was the eigth wicket to fall after a run out with the score on 172, which brought Matt Boyd to the crease with skipper James Hazelton. Another couple of very close run out decisions went in Bovingdon’s favour, and they eventually scampered a single after a cultured flick off the pads from Boyd (2*) with Hazelton (6*) still at the crease with him.

The two wicket win leaves Bovingdon 14 points behind the league leaders, with a local derby at home against Boxmoor to look forward to next weekend.

FM Arthurs travelled to Bovingdon on Sunday and were victorious by 30 runs. The visitors batted first and made 142 thanks mainly to a powerful 76 from Luke Day. Wickets were shared between Gavin Ivey, Russell Wenman and Mike Hart with two each, and one apiece for Tony Shand and Sean Gatehouse.

Bovingdon’s opening batsman got off to a steady start with Neil Ship (17) and Ivey (11) putting on 27 for the first wicket. None of the middle order managed to make double figures however, and the ninth wicket fell with only 70 runs on the board. It seemed like all hope was lost, but a blistering 45* from Afzal Rahman kept the fixture alive. Unfortunately his nine fours and one six were not quite enough, as he was left stranded with the side 30 runs shy of the victory target.