Friday, 25 June 2021

Boyce’s five-wicket haul leaves visitors in a spin

HENLEY chalked up their eighth win of the season, dismissing visitors WELWYN GARDEN CITY for 230 in just 59 overs

HENLEY chalked up their eighth win of the season, dismissing visitors WELWYN GARDEN CITY for 230 in just 59 overs and chasing down their score in 55.3 overs for the loss of six wickets at the Brakspear Ground on Saturday.

With a depleted Harpenden side again losing heavily to a Slough side that hammered 377 in 59 overs and Tring deriving few points from a draw with Potters Bar, Henley are now 55 points clear of second placed Tring as they remain unbeaten since June 2012.

The clear blue skies of last week took a few hours off on Saturday morning and a covering of cloud was sufficient to persuade Henley skipper Bjorn Mordt that, having won the toss, fielding first was the way to go.

For the first hour, as visiting skipper Hewitt in particular got stuck into the Henley bowling, chancing his arm on occasions, Welwyn debunked that notion.

When the players broke for drinks at midday, Welwyn were 60-2, Baker caught behind off Tahir Afridi and Champion bowled by Hamza Riazuddin.

On 141-3 at lunch the morning belonged to Welwyn with Hewitt and Southgate in full flow and boundaries coming thick and fast.

Tom Nugent’s removal of Southgate, caught behind off a back of a lengthy off-stump ball was a big loss for Welwyn at a critical stage.

After lunch, little by little the balance began to change. Mordt deployed spin and Cameron Boyce winkled out the middle order of Chalker, Nolan and Laraman before claiming the prize scalp of Hewitt. Gurveer Singh, who had briefly suffered at the hands of Laraman, accounted for Mottishead, caught by Dave Allaway at mid-off before Taylor was next out, caught at slip by Boyce.

Boyce wrapped things up and claimed his fifth wicket, bowling last man Hodge, to leave the hosts a target of 231 in 61 overs.

After a slow start during which Welwyn changed bowlers three times from the Pavilion End in the first nine overs, Michael Roberts, back from injury, and Dave Barnes made steady progress until the former, trying to force the pace, failed to get enough on a Southgate delivery and was caught at mid-on.

Aided by the shine going off the ball and a dry and dusty pitch, Welwyn were not about to make things easy.

Spinner Southgate, who would go on to take all six Henley wickets, tied down an end and the nagging medium pace of Taylor and the spin of Champion did not make for easy run scoring as the hosts grafted and ground out the runs.

Barnes was Southgate’s next victim and on 112-2 in 33 overs, Mordt strode out to inject some urgency into proceedings and hit a quickfire 33 as he and Riazuddin put on 50 for the next wicket before the skipper was caught behind.

Boyce contributed 26, Riazuddin 44, Allaway smashed 17 off 11 balls and Davison stood firm before Ferguson wrapped things up despatching Southgate to the boundary.

Southgate finished with figures of 6-85 off 24 overs but for Henley, there was no collapse, steady contribution through the batting line up and always plenty of time to chase down the score.

All this leaves Henley in a very dominant position, effectively two victories clear of the field but there is still over a third of the season to go and much could happen in that time particularly when the 50/50 win/lose format returns for the last four games.

SEV DEVEREUX has been named as the sole Leander athlete among the GB team that will contest this year’s World Junior Championships, to be staged in Lithiuania.

Devereux will race with Marlow’s Sholto Carnegie in the double scull, in which they took the gold medal earlier this year at the junior international regatta in Munich. They also doubled up in the winning quad scull, which will give them an edge over the opposition in Trakai, the lakeside venue which staged last year’s World U23 Championships.

Devereux and Carnegie went head-to-head in singles at the GB rowing team junior small boats regatta at Dorney in April, with Carnegie winning by just half a second.

It’s been an eventful year for Devereux, who joined Leander from Marlow to try and further his own rowing career.

Last year he won the J18 singles pennant at the scullers head and at this year’s national schools regatta he won J18 single sculls once again before racing in the three seat in the Leander quad that contested the Fawley Cup at Henley three weeks ago.

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