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Brondesbury frustrate Hampstead in derby draw

10:58 11 June 2014

Ragheb Aga

Ragheb Aga

Archant

Hampstead were left “frustrated and disappointed” after their stuttering start to the defence of their Middlesex County League Premier Division title continued with a winning draw against Brondesbury.

The Lymington Road outfit failed to bowl their neighbours out after declaring on 225-9, and are now 15 points behind leaders Ealing and just three points above the relegation zone.

Nick Brown, chairman of Hampstead’s playing committee, said: “We’re frustrated and disappointed – this was an opportunity for us to put some momentum into the season, but it wasn’t to be.

“We got ourselves into a totally dominant position but couldn’t close the door.”

After a delayed start due to rain, Hampstead batted for 51 overs to reach 225 and looked to be in control when two wickets apiece from Ragheb Aga and Jordan Price reduced Brondesbury to 42-5.

However, some resolute batting from Adam Wilson (24 off 43 balls), Neil Durand (36 off 50) and Tommy Ricketts (37 not out off 69) ensured the visitors left with a draw after batting for 46 overs to finish on 142-8.

Despite the result, Brown remained bullish about his side’s chances this year, adding: “There are plenty of twists and turns left in this season.

“Just a look at the loss column of the league table will tell you that, so while we are a few points off the top right now, that can quickly change. An improvement in the weather or a few decisions going our way and that frustration cloud will soon dissipate.”

Saturday’s hosts can take positives from a strong batting display, and in particular the performances of Aga (54) and opener George Adair (46). Aga was heading towards a handsome total as he raced to 54 off just 55 balls but, having hit seven fours and a six, he was caught off Sam Smith (3-44).

Aga was supported by Liam Hughes (39), and their partnership added 71 for the fifth wicket, while Charlie Cooke (15) also put in a solid display to leave Hampstead seemingly on course for victory.

For Brondesbury, the draw was another positive result and keeps them in fourth place in the table. Captain John Fosbraey was satisfied with the outcome, especially after the hosts’ impressive batting performance.

He said: “We were pleased to leave with the draw. We were missing a few key players and they’re a good side so we weren’t too disappointed.

“They’d batted really well, and we didn’t bowl as well as we could have done. Chasing down 225 looked like a big ask, and although I’m confident we’ll improve with the bat over the season, on Saturday the main task was hanging in.”

Brondesbury followed up the draw with a 72-run win against North London on Sunday in the Middlesex Cup. It was the Harman Drive side’s sixth win out of six in cup competitions this season.

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