Hertford 226 all out (55.3 overs)
Dave Woffinden 4-31, James Dangerfield 3-61
Southgate 195 all out (50.5 overs)
Ally Lynch 71, James Dangerfield 35*
A Southgate invitation XI made the trip to deepest Hertfordshire on Monday for the annual Hertgate Trophy match. With a mix of youth and experience, our instructions from Umpire Cole were to enjoy the day and to ensure a result. To that extent we delivered and many thanks to our hosts for an excellent game of cricket and some top-notch hospitality.
Hertford won the toss and elected to bat, their skipper welcoming us with a couple of crunching drives off the back foot through the covers before our opening attack of Daragh Edwards and James Dangerfield settled into a groove and brought the run rate back under control.
James made the initial breakthrough, a family affair with Jeremy enveloping an edge to gully before Shaun Dass took a fanastic catch at square cover to dismiss the Hertford skipper.
It was then trundle from both ends with Shaun Dass and Dave Woffinden seemingly competing for the title of slowest swinger in town. Meanwhile Ollie Bellwood was sharpening his pun game, extorting Woffers to bowl on the “woff” side.
There was time before lunch for William McLoughlin to hit his line and length straight away and for true allrounder (and usurped 2ndXI keeper) Bellwood to shake off the rust from his off spin.
At about 110 for 4 at lunch the game was nicely balanced, unlike the fielding side after a superb lunch and a particularly delicious, but lethargy inducing, apple pie and cream. William kept his focus and got his reward dismissing the dangerous number 6, to finish with a highly creditable 1-21 from his 6 overs to go with an electric performance in the field.
James and Darragh returned for second spells, with James picking up the top scoring Aussie before Woffers burgled three late wickets to dismiss Hertford for 226.
Southgate’s reply began in style with Ally Lynch and Christian McLoughlin (26) giving a perfect demonstration of how to put the fielding side under pressure by running hard, picking up singles at the slightest opportunity and putting away the bad ball. Facing up to Hertford’s 1stXI attack, Lynch ventured to the posh side (once on purpose) and also delivered the biggest hit of the day with his trademark slog sweep to the longest boundary, top scoring with a superb 71.
At the other end, Christian (fresh despite 55 overs behind the stumps in the mid-summer heat) provided the shot of the day – a crunching drive through the covers for four. We took tea on 124 for 1 and shortly afterwards we were treated to a scoop over short fine leg from Shaun Dass (25) that was worthy of an action replay.
We entered the last 20 overs with confidence, needing less than 5 an over with 8 wickets in hand, but Hertford bowled very tightly, their young off spinner bowling through to the close and thoroughly deserving his five wickets.
Kevin Shah fell to the returning 1stXI bowler and Harshil Vipani entertained briefly with dancing feet and lofted drives, before one adventure from the crease too many saw him stumped. At the other James Dangerfield (35*) was battling away, nurdling and striking boundaries to try to keep up with the run rate but Hertford held their catches and despite James’ best efforts we couldn’t pull off the 35 we needed from the last 3 overs.
A great day’s cricket, with contributions from everyone with the bat, ball and in the field.