SOUTHGATE 169 all out (49 overs)
NORTH LONDON 149 all out ( 49.3 OVERS)
In the tropical heat of Shepherds Cot, Southgate continued their recent good form by beating North London by 20 runs and moving to 3rd in the Middlesex League Third Division.
Tom Edrich won the toss and much to the delight of his team, elected to bat.
An excellent opening pair of Issitt and Battcock, conceding just 11 runs in their first 8 overs, were very difficult to get away, especially so for Matt Stratten who was out early, with the total at just three.
Jamie Jouning joined Mikey Stevens, and it was time to consolidate, which they did with some success, seeing off the quicker bowlers, who were succeeded by two young spinners.
At 69-1 Stevens (34) succumbed to spin, and Edrich followed soon after, but Jamie was in excellent form; very watchful but taking advantage of anything slightly over-pitched, and selecting various parts of the extra cover boundary to score fours and sixes. Off spinner Greally, despite being the subject of most of these shots, finished with very respectable figures of 3-68 in 19 overs.
Jamie was out eventually for 70, brilliantly caught by North London’s overseas player, O’Shea, who set the pattern for a superb fielding display from the home side, a standard rarely seen at this level.
At 145-3 foundations were laid for a big total, but, not for the first time this season, the Southgate middle and late order were unable to contribute enough runs, and seven wickets fell to a series of long hops, full tosses and good balls from the home side’s third seamer, Omkar Hushing (6-38).
Seven wickets fell for a total of just 24 runs.
Phil Dunnett (27) was the only batsman to score anything of note in this period.
A worrying collapse but 169 gave the visitors some hope, but there was certainly not an air of supreme confidence.
However, Southgate started well and Mikey Stevens, in a marathon spell in the heat, nipped one back to dispose of the North London opener, third ball of the innings.
Darragh Edwards, at the other end, also bowled well and at the first drinks break North London were 35-4, Mikey & Darragh with two a-piece.
Slower bowlers, Dave Woffinden and Ravi Desai proved to be very economical, taking a wicket each, but it was proving difficult to dispose of the aforementioned O’Shea.
What you need in these circumstances is to bring back your opening bowlers to finish it off.
Stevens (4-37) trapped O’Shea with a shortish ball, nicked to wicketkeeper Dunnett, although not having one of his brilliant days, held on to his third catch of the innings to retain his place at the top of the Middlesex League ‘keepers victims, over all three divisions.
At 98-8 the game seemed to belong to Southgate but the North London ninth wicket pair batted sensibly and took the score to 148.
Worrying times, but Darragh proved what a good cricketer he is by clean bowling the last two batsmen and Southgate were the victors by 20 runs with just 8 balls remaining.
Harrow Town, who are bottom, at home next week, but the team will still need full concentration to win, and remain in sight of top two, Uxbridge and Wembley, who are two of the next three fixtures.