Potters Bar III 262/5 beat Rickmansworth II 260/9
Potters Bar 30 points, Ricky 15 points
As both teams warmed up on a less than warm afternoon at Park Road, Potters Bar played the usual card of visiting sides saying they had a very weak team and expected to get bowled out cheaply. However, like last year, Rickmansworth knew this was unlikely to be the case and sure enough as openers Pett and Boyce put on 93 for the first wicket it was obvious that this was going to be anything but a walkover. The Rickmansworth bowlers were certainly rusty with deliveries on both sides of the wicket and Pett in particular was keen to put anything loose away. Once Boyce was out, Taylor and Pett then took the score to 146 before Taylor was given out LBW to Anwar. However the damage was already done and even when Pett was caught and bowled by Bobby for 89, Potters Bar were able to coast for the final 15 overs putting on another hundred. Billy's two for 60 from 10 overs was well deserved, if a little expensive, whilst a team tally of 11 wides and 6 no balls, added 17 to an already big enough total.
Perhaps the most impressive bowling display was Chris Hutchinson with one for 24 on debut bowling a nice mix of leg breaks, not seen since Steve Swain graced the turf over 10 years ago. In fairness Ricky didnt drop catches or miss run outs. The luck just never came.
Now no score is intimidating for Rickmansworth 2nd XI these days the general feeling at tea was that this was chaseable, but was maybe 20-30 runs more than should have been the case.
Rickmansworth's reply started very well with Waqas and Waheed both middling the ball nicely and when Waheed was bowled for 32 and the score at 85, it was frankly a little bit of a surprise to lose a wicket. Bobby and Waqas then join together for a 74 run partnership before where the debutant was bowled for an excellent 85. Whilst a ton was in sight, Waqas had set up the perfect platform and done a great job.
Bobby now needed some good support however Kasser, Kamran and Paul were dismissed for a total of one-run, playing dreadfully across the line, and though Chris scored 11 Rickmansworth were suddenly 211/6 and needing to score at a run a ball to win the game. Simon was given a life and went on to score 9 but despite the best efforts of Billy (21) and Anwar 15, the 8 required off the last over proved impossible when Billy was caught in the covers going for the necessary boundary to force a win.
It was a brave, valiant but fruitless chase and the Ricky heads were down at the end, especially those of us that had not contributed as we should have. The 15 points gained may turn out to be valuable at the end of the season, but it was a painful defeat.
Potters Bar left with a smile on their face, as did the groundsman for preparing a wicket where 520 runs were scored for the loss of just 14 wickets.
Rickmansworth's next opponents, Baldock town, also lost their first game on Saturday so a better return to form is hoped for by Rickmansworth 2nd XI to maintain a decent middle of the table start.