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Must-win fixture for Henley as weather takes toll
Published 02/06/14

RAIN put paid to Henley’s week three encounter with Gerrards Cross and ensured their stuttering start to the season continued after one defeat and two washouts.

To exacerbate matters, Banbury’s game at Tring was played and ended with a third victory for the visitors who are enjoying the sort of start that Henley did in 2013.

Henley find themselves in ninth spot in the division with just 17 points.

With the forecast uncertain for the coming week, it is fingers crossed that tomorrow’s home game against Harefield goes ahead (11.30am start).

Like Gerrards Cross and Aston Rowant, Harefield found themselves elevated into Division One of the HCPCL as a result of the departure of the Hertfordshire clubs.

Their campaign has also been affected by the weather and in their only game to reach a result, they were beaten by Gerrards Cross.

Currently they lie eighth in the division, just ahead of Henley. Harefield are captained by Simon Macey, a Berkshire player, who enjoyed a very fruitful winter playing in South Australia for Woodville.

This is a must-win game for Henley who need to kick-start their campaign.

Probable Henley First XI: Roberts, Barnes, McDermott, MacDonald, Mordt, Brock, Allaway, Davison, Nugent, Afridi, Singh.

Elsewhere, the weather also put paid to all the Seconds, Thirds and Fourths games.

This weekend, the Seconds are away to Marlow, the Thirds travel to Purley and the Fourths entertain Hayes Thirds at Nettlebed (all 1pm starts).

Henley’s first competitive victory came on Sunday against Finchampstead in the HCPCL T20 competition.

With several players featuring for Berkshire against Herefordshire at Kidmore End, Henley fielded a number of Second XI players to good effect.

Winning the toss and batting first, the Finch set off at a gallop, skipper Bell and keeper House scoring 27 and 29 respectively.

But by dint of some good fielding and the deployment of spin bowling, notably from Zia Ashraf (1-14) and Tahir Kazmi (2-17), Henley built pressure and staunched the flow of runs. Their 139 off 20 overs was probably 20 runs short of par. Henley got off to a sticky start thanks to some excellent Finch fielding as skipper Bjorn Mordt (6) and Dave Allaway (0) went cheaply. Ashraf (18) looked well settled until he fell to a catch off a leading edge. But it was an excellent 111 run partnership between Ryan Bezuidenhout and Will MacDonald that saw Henley home with 1.1 overs to spare. Bezuidenhout’s unbeaten 67 included six 4s and two 6s and he was ably supported by MacDonald (36 n.o.) who looked at ease and calm throughout.

Published 02/06/14

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