2nd XI Reports

2020 2nd XI Match Reports

Cockfosters 145-10 lost to Stevanage III 149-4 by 6 wickets

With the earlier than normal start time, the side arrived at Stevanage for their 12 start and, what seems like a recurring theme in this division, a very green wicket welcomed them! Another recurring theme is Ben losing the toss and being asked to bat. Stokesy and Adam opened up for the side and had very different innings. Stokesy got a quickfire 24 before departing, whereas Adam had a very long duck. Xav was playing his last game for the club before moving away after being a clubman for a long period of the clubs recent history, but unfortunately probably didn’t get the send off a legend of the side really deserved getting bowled early on for 1. 25-3 got even worse shortly after with skipper Ben Howell being bowled for 5 with the side on 34-4. Alex Carter was given the opportunity to break his streak of ducks and finally put a run on the board, before getting caught in typical Alex Carter fashion for 5. RV at the non striker’s end had to watch on in disbelief as the whole side were dismissed without much of a fight. Nate White coming in at number 7 Allowed the side to get a bit of stability. RV was hitting the ball well and finally had a partner that lasted more than 10 balls to accompany him, they got the side going and looked to be guiding the side towards a decent score on a very green wicket that was providing assistance to the bowlers, however a bit of a mix-up with running spelt the end of RV’s knock for a solid 39, with Nate following shortly after for 22. The side had been reduced to 102-8 and were in some serious trouble despite the good partnership previous! Ben Slevin and Alex Callan added some highly valuable runs as well as Ravi getting in on the act with a boundary and claiming his token not out at the end but still a slightly disappointing 145 being posted, particularly as there were overs spare. With a fairly strong bowling attack, we backed ourselves to defend it with Loaf being one of the top wicket takers in the division, but it would be hard work.

Like our innings, Stevanage had two openers with 2 very different innings, one was having a bit of a hit and scored some boundaries before Adam taking a sharp stumping off Loaf’s bowling, whilst at that point with the score on 31-1, the other opener had yet to trouble the scorers! Loaf then took a second wicket with Nate taking the catch at 44-2 (opening batsmen still on 4 at this point). We still felt like we had a small chance but it would be very hard work. Unfortunately, the side felt a bit hard done by with some close decisions going against us so despite Ben bowling the other opener and Xav geting a fairwell wicket, the side were well short of securing the 30 points. a disappointing result but really the game was lost in the first half with the top order not really providing enough runs for the bowlers to play with.

Man of the match really had to go to Loaf with figures of 8-3-14-2 and with 17 runs as well in the first innings which was a good end to a fine season for him! The side as a whole (if you take out a few disappointing results in recent weeks) had a good season and managed to end the year in 4th spot. It was a bit up and down with some games going REALLY well, but others going really quite bad. Hopefully next year we can hit the levels of consistency required to challenge for promotion as there were no sides in the division that we couldn’t beat on our day. The side had improved a lot from last year with the attitude and mentality improving a lot with a few changes of personnel and just a reminder of how it was to win some games. There were definitely some games this season that we wouldn’t have got over the line in previous years which is a really positive sign for the team (and the club as it was a club wide improvement this season). As mentioned earlier, Chris Xavier has played his last game for the club and it can’t be said enough how much of a legend the guy has been, playing in all 3 teams and always hitting the ball cleanly whilst also providing a good bowling option as well. A true clubman who has been around forever who will be sorely missed. Like always though, when one legend of the club leaves, it leaves room for others to grow and have as big an impact as Xav did on Cockfosters Cricket Club. Hoping to be able to welcome back Xav on occasion (even if the journey is a bit far).

Cockfosters 134-10 lost to St Margaretsbury II 167-7 by 33 runs

Hoping to build on the comprehensive win from last week, the second team were welcoming St Margaretsbury’s second team to Chalk Lane for the penultimate weekend for the league season. With a few of the usual second team players being taken up to the first team, it meant there were opportunities to impress for Mehfuz Ahmed, Dom Williams and Alex Carter.

Ben went out for the toss and unfortunately lost and was asked to field first. Loaf and Tom Slevin opened up the bowling and both did a good job of keeping the runs down without reaping any rewards early on. Tom was switched for Nate early on and helped put further pressure on with some very tight bowling as well. Loafy finally made the breakthrough in the 11th over with the scoreboard at 27-1 and the side supporting the bowlers really well in the field. Nate followed up with a maiden at the other end and there were really positive signs for us in the field with great bowling and fielding. Nate was rewarded with a wicket of his own as a reward for his tight start. From there, what was really disappointing was after such a clinical performance the week before, the fielding was far more lax this week. Despite Tom Slevin’s best efforts to put this right with a good run out of Ellis who was on 30 and batting well, 7 dropped catches went down and allowed St Mags to get some crucial runs on a used deck. Alex Carter maintained his reputation as one of the best fielders in the club with another catch to add to his collection, but with no one else really following suit St Mags were able to bat out the overs setting 167-7 off their 40 overs. Ben Slevin bowled very well and kept the run rate down  only going for 1-21 off his 8 overs, and Ben Howell also had a good late cameo of 2 overs for 1-7, but poor fielding and a bit of loose bowling really made the chase a lot harder than it had to be. Particularly disappointing after such a good performance the previous week

The reply didn’t get off to the best of starts with Adam getting bowled off his second ball and Alex Carter making it 4 ducks in a row after last Sunday and Monday’s games. the side were at 1-2 after 3 overs with Tom Slevin being joined by captain Ben Howell in the middle. The pair of them tried to build some stability after the early set backs and got the side to 29 before Tom was bowled like his fellow opener. From there, Ben had to watch frustrated at the non strikers end as Nate and Mehfuz departed cheaply. Ben was joined by Dom Williams with the side at 56-5 and decided to start trying to counter attack and batted fantastically well to get us to 108 before finally departing for a solid 58 runs. Dom and the tail tried to add a few extra runs but ultimately couldn’t get to the target set in the first innings. I think it is fair to say there were problems in both innings that could have been improved on, with dropped catches and some loose overs being punished in the first innings, and some poor and unintelligent batting in the second innings St Mags had earnt their win, but hopefully next season we can put in a better performance and take our chances in the field.

Despite the negatives, this was a bit of a changed team with some people not available this week, and a few being called up to the first team so it was good to see others get a chance and not look out of place, particularly Dom who kept well and got 21 in the lower order. Man of the match went to Ben Howell for his superb 58 and good 2 overs he bowled in the first innings. Our last clash of the season is away to Stevanage next week, hoping to end on a high.

Cockfosters 59-2 beat Weston 58-10 by 8 wickets

After what had been a frustrating couple of weeks for the second team, it was encouraging to see good availability and a very strong bowling line up for the trip to Weston Cricket Club with what was the first ever game between the two sides. The home side won the toss and chose to bat first with Alex Callan and Simon Hutchins taking the new ball for Fosters. On the 13th ball of the game, the opening batsmen tried to put pressure on the Cockfosters’ fielders by taking some quick singles but unfortunately, Patrick was awake and got a run out to put Weston on the back foot. Simon managed to pick up a wicket a couple of others later, again with Patrick in the firing line taking a good catch to dismiss the other opener. Despite being away with work for most of the year, Simon bowled like he had never been away, making run scoring very hard for the batsmen and taking regular wickets, bowling through his 8 overs with figures of 3-15. Alex Callan also got in on the act with a wicket as the Weston batsmen started to tumble. Patrick picked up another run out with the Weston batsmen still trying to take risks to someone who they had seen in action enough. Patrick also came on to bowl himself and picked up 3 wickets (and his best figures for the club of 3-16). Ravi came on to finish off the innings with Weston posting a very small total of 58 all out. The low score was really just a testament to how well the team bowled and fielded, whilst the batting team looked like they had a poor day and didn’t actually look like a bad side.

In response, Stokesy took up his opening role with Tom Simmons making an appearance opening up along side him. With the score required being fairly low, the openers spent very little time getting themselves in and tried to get on with it to get home early. The score got to 33 before Stokesy played a trademark Stokesy shot and stepped across his stumps and missed a straight one on 20. Adam acompanied Simmo next and was also the next to depart with the Weston 12th man picking up his second wicket forcing vice captain Will Edwards to go out to the middle with 12 to win. Simmo ended on 27 and Will on 4 as they negotiated the final 12 runs ( with the score being reached in only 12.4 overs) and securing a very good win for the second team.

Man of the match goes to Patrick for a great bowling and fielding display from him, with a home game against St Margeretsbury IIs next up for the team.

Cockfosters against Pirton was cancelled

After the previous week where the game wasn’t really a “proper” game of cricket, the team was hyped to get back out on the field. However, Pirton had forgot to tell us they had had a few cry offs the night before which meant at 13:10 our side were a bit confused, and bowling to Lindsay on the square. She was bowled by Nathan early on in her innings, and the only league cricket on display for the second team was them spectating at Minch down the road watching the 3s play. Disappointed, but hopefully the trip to Weston will actually yield some cricket.

Cockfosters 137-8 lost to Northwood Town II 153-9

With almost every other game in the herts league being rained off, it was a bit of a surprise that we got information that the game would still be on, but there was lots of negotiations to with start times and game lengths to make sure the game went ahead. With a couple of players and spectators heading to “the other Northwood’s” ground, the start didn’t happen early as was planned. Ben won the toss and chose to bowl on a pitch which was borderline playable. Loaf and Harry opened up the bowling and Harry immediately found serious issues with bowling as the crease was too slippy. Despite the use of A LOT of (green) sawdust everywhere, it didn’t really improve either. Loaf was having success at his end running uphill and taking wickets and keeping the runs down but it was a real struggle for all the other seamers, all having the same issue of slipping when running into the crease. Alfie went to a shorter run up and did a good job of keeping the runs down until unfortunately managing to bowl a wide that also hit Kieran’s helmet for 5 penalty runs and from there his over went from bad to worse. With Loaf and Juckesy ending their spells, the spinners were brought on (mainly due to the fact neither Nathan or Harry could bowl due to the conditions) and Northwood Town managed to accumulate a lot of runs which meant they finished on 153-9, meaning over a run a ball was required.

Dan and Stokesy opened up with Stokesy looking really good playing some lovely shots to keep the run rate roughly where we needed it early on. Dan unfortunately got a ball that didn’t get off the ground and bowled him early on, with both Nathan and Harry following later on a pitch which was not only about skill but also having fortune on your side as well. Stokesy played some really good pull shots and looked like he was going to be the only real chance we had of chasing down a pretty big score after losing our big hitters early on. Stokesy unfortunately was given out LBW on 43 which left an uphill struggle which we made a good effort of despite the conditions and early wickets falling, with everyone in the middle/lower order all getting double figures and not hanging around to get a feel for things. Unfortunately we were requiring 18 to win off the last ball with Loaf coming out to face one ball, and decided to play a switch hit (top edged for a single) to finish off the innings 16 runs short of the Northwood Town score.

A very disappointing day, mainly because the weather had made the pitch practically unplayable with us having to resort to short run ups in order just to get through the game. Northwood Town are looking strong in the league so next year hopefully we can get better conditions in order to give them a good game. Next week, we welcome Pirton to Chalk Lane and hopefully have the same weather we had during early cricket week!

Cockfosters 132-10 lost to Flitwick III 192-8

Ben Howell had regained his captaincy with Will Edwards being called up to the 1s for the week, and had the long trip to Flitwick awaiting him and the team. With Championship cricket on the main square, Cockfosters were playing on the newly founded second square with a small changing hut being constructed throughout the day (but obviously not in use due to this year’s guidelines). Ben used his groundsman knowledge with help from novice groundsman Dan Stead established that bowling first on the track would make sense with the grass on the pitch being slightly long and green. Luckily, Ben didn’t have to argue with his team about putting them in the field as he lost the toss and they were forced to do it.

Alfie Juckes took the new ball and had a dropped catch off his bowling first ball of the game with Loaf not given time to adjust to a ball hit hard at him in cover. Unfortunately, dropped catches very quickly became a theme of the innings with opener Timms being dropped 3 times on his way to 31, as well as his partner being dropped (however, only reaching 14). Loaf got a breakthrough and was on a hattrick shortly after which gave Fosters the feel of this being a short innings with Flitwick being 49-3 and having trouble contending with the bowling on display. However a watchful partnership developed between the young number 3 and more experienced number 5 with them getting over 100 partnership with them finishing on 50 and 47 respectively. Wickets then fell regularly (including a team hattrick with a run out) which meant that despite the platform set for them, Flitwick would have probably be disappointed not to have added a few more runs. Loaf and Alfie both finished with similar figures of 3 wickets for 30 odd runs off their 8 overs, but there was a disappointing feel with a fair few dropped chances going down throughout the innings, including a few very costly ones. 193 wasn’t unachievable, but it was a far higher target than it could have been after a very good start to the innings.

Dan and Stokesy opened up with Stokesy being dismissed early after hitting a low full toss back to the bowler (who took a very good diving catch) and RV followed shortly after after edging a good ball to slip. Alfie joined Dan and both were very watchful early on as Flitwick’s opening bowlers were very threatening early on. They opened with an off spinner who put it in a very good area whilst the seamer at the other end was fairly sharp for the level and liked a good short ball. However, 5 overs into his spell Dan got bored of his short stuff and decided to hit an over for 17 runs which got him taken off abruptly. Timms at the other end continued to keep it tight, ended wicketless but with 4 maidens and only going for just over 2 runs per over at all. At this point Juckesy and Dan decided to try accelerating after seeing off the new ball bowlers and got the team into a very good position before Dan fell for 58 in the 20th over. Ben came in and continued the work done by Dan and Alfie before Alfie was next to fall with Ben not long after. At this point, the middle and lower order realised it wasn’t the easiest wicket to score on with everyone falling cheaply. Gary Corken showed some real determination in staying out there but really struggled to find scoring opportunities and ended on 4 not out with his only other partner of note being Ravi who got 10 (which was 4th top score from number 10) and by the time John Worley was bowled, we were still 60 runs short of the target. With the strength of the side we had, was a very disappointing result with there being things we could have done better in both innings.

With Ben not coming back to the club, Ravi was left with the man of the match/verbal match report responsibilities and awarded man of the match to Alfie after his good bowling in the first innings and contribution to the partnership with Dan in the second innings. Next up is Northwood Town away next week.

Cockfosters 277-5 beat Datchworth II 143-8

The Captaincy buck was back at Will Edwards for the next home game and he managed to win the toss and elected to bat on what was a good day for batting on a good (but slightly used) track. With Tom Slevin receiving a call up to the first team, Stokesy and Adam were asked to open up and they raced off to a good start. 3 overs in they were 31-0 with Stokesy playing some good shots in particular. Datchworth unfortunately lost their wicket keeper early on with him getting an awkward ball hitting his thumb and dislocating it, leaving them a man down for the rest of the game and forcing someone who hadn’t really kept before behind the stumps. The Fosters batsman took full advantage of the loss of a fielder (as well as being aided by byes throughout the innings) and the run rate stayed close to the 7 mark throughout. Stokesy went for a brisk 31 with his opening partner being joined by Skipper Will Edwards who had a bit of a partnership before Adam fell again in the 40s this time for 44. Team Edwards was united in the middle and Nathan let loose with some really clean hitting whilst Will played a more controlled innings with them both getting similar scores of Will getting 69 and Nathan getting 63. These four really helped us get up to what is possibly the highest score in the last decade for the second team, which is particularly impressive as it is only a 40 over game.

Loaf and Asad were entrusted with the new ball with Loaf keeping it tight at one end and Asad taking wickets at the other, it made victory seem all but unachievable for a depleted Datchworth team. Their approach became more about batting time than trying to get anywhere near the score that had been posted. It became apparent fairly early on that the pitch would provide a fair bit of assistance to spin bowlers and with four being in the team, it allowed the team to keep control of the game and not let the opposition get a sniff of a chance. Ravi and Ben Slevin bowled a 16 over spell between them of 3-35 which meant the rest of the innings was really just a case of either finding the last wickets or getting through the overs. Despite the fact the game was basically secured fairly early on in the innings, the side continued to bowl and field with good intensity throughout and gave the first and third teams a good display to watch as they both returned home early from their games. Special mention to Nate White taking a fantastic catch late on diving forward at mid off.

Man of the match went to Skipper Will for another fine knock. Next up, the 2s will be travelling to Flitwick III hoping to continue their 100% record

Cockfosters 95-5 played Old Owens II (Match Abandoned)

The second team had the short trip to Old Owens and were put in to bat first in what was going to prove difficult conditions for batting, not made any easier with the opposition bowling attack including Williams, who the first team had been playing against often in his time at Potton Town.

Tom Slevin and Stokesy opened up, unfortunately Andy only lasted a few balls before getting out for 4. Tom and Adam built a bit of a partnership batting at a respectable run rate whilst trying to see off the new ball before Tom was given out LBW on 17. Adam and Will were next up to face the swinging ball, Adam was trying to anchor the innings whilst Will played a more aggressive role before departing for 24 with the score on 71-3. Ben Howell and Nathan both came in to try supporting Adam and getting the team up to a defend-able total, but after Nathan lost his wicket and at that point the rain started to pour and both teams left the field not to return today. One Old Owens lad was disappointed to “wait 3 months for cricket only to go off for a bit of rain” and got soaked for his troubles whilst convincing everyone else the pitch would still play fine.

Next up for the 2s we host Datchworth IIs at Chalk Lane.

Cockfosters 164-8 beat Botany Bay 112-10

Like the other two sides, the twos were in a new division but were greeted with familiar opposition early on in the form of Botany Bay (who were in our twos division for a fair few years until recently). Will Edwards was our fill in captain for the week and, as is the tradition built by Rollo, lost the toss. Luckily “I wanted to lose the toss anyway as I didn’t know what to do” and Cockfosters were put in to bat. 

After a couple of early wickets of Tom Slevin and Xav, it looked like a very poor toss to lose from stand in skipper. However, Adam Pigden and Will himself dug the team out of a whole with a solid partnership. Will departed with the team in a much healthier position. Adam built himself a good Innings before unfortunately departing short of a first league half century of the season on 47. The rest of the order also chipped in with Nathan getting “30 odd” (28) and Kieran also in the 20s which resulted in a Cockfosters second XI managing to bat through the 40 overs in order to post a competitive 164-8

In the second innings, it looked like we were a few runs short with Botany Bay getting off to a real good start at 50-0. However once one wicket fell, they came at regular intervals with Nathan picking up a good 4-38 off his 8 overs. The other 6 wickets were shared out between the bowlers and Cockfosters picked up another 30 points for the weekend.

Will showed his brotherly love and gave man of the match to Nathan after his great bowling figures, and mentioned how the team spirit was on point, and the mentality was very strong even when Botany Bay got off to a great start. Very encouraging signs for us! Next up is a trip to Old Owens.


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