FOLLOWING two weeks on the road, Henley are back at the Brakspear Ground for the return
FOLLOWING two weeks on the road, Henley are back at the Brakspear Ground for the return match against Burnham tomorrow (Saturday, 11am start).
In the corresponding limited overs fixture over at the Memorial Ground earlier in the season, Henley ran out winners by 61 runs in a game which was attended by a degree of unpleasantness that led to the league to take disciplinary action against Burnham and two players.
The most significant result of all that was that Burnham were docked 50 points and a further 50 point deduction hangs over them in the event of further transgression which is currently under appeal.
The net effect is that at the end of week nine, but for the loss of 50 points, Burnham would have been top of the table because of their on-field performances in the timed games, defeating Great and Little Tew and Harefield and drawing with Tring and Slough.
Last weekend they were visited by Finchampstead whom they restricted to 185 only to be shot out for just 90 runs in yet another Jandre Coetzee-led rampage.
Coetzee has transformed Finchampstead into championship contenders and unsurprisingly given his figures to date — 81 overs, 24 maidens, 31 wickets for 163 runs, economy rate 2.01, strike rate 15.68, average 5.26, five five-wicket hauls and 51.67 per cent of his team’s wickets. Given that Coetzee did not start playing until week four, his figures are even more impressive than they first appear.
Finch are genuine title contenders â€“ currently leading Division 1, 10 points clear of Banbury who defeated Harefield who are themselves nine points ahead of third placed Henley, whose disappointing draw at Great and Little Tew was at least mitigated by High Wycombe’s defeat at home to Slough.
All of which makes this weekend’s game against Burnham a must-win game following three draws and one game lost to the weather in the timed format.
Twenty-five points would be most handy, particularly as High Wycombe are at Harefield and Finchampstead and Banbury face off against each other at Finchampstead Park.
Elsewhere, Henley 2nds travel to the Memorial Ground to take on Burnham 2nds, Henley 3rds are away to Wokingham 2nds and Henley 4ths entertain Kidmore End 2nds at Nettlebed. All these Thames Valley League games start at 1pm.