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Hampstead are ‘down but not out’ after heavy defeat to Hornsey

13:31 16 June 2014

Hampstead captain Steve Clark. Pic: Max Flego

Hampstead captain Steve Clark. Pic: Max Flego

Max Flego Sports Photography

Hampstead are “down but not out” in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League after an eight-wicket defeat at Hornsey left the reigning champions in the bottom three.

Liam Hughes hit 70 for Hampstead but it was not enough. Pic: Max FlegoLiam Hughes hit 70 for Hampstead but it was not enough. Pic: Max Flego

Liam Hughes hit 70 for Hampstead but they were skittled for 211 in Crouch End, and their hosts easily knocked off the required runs in 39.3 overs with just two wickets down.

That was Hampstead’s second defeat of the season, and the Lymington Road outfit have only won one of their first six fixtures, leaving them two points above the relegation zone and 19 points off the top.

The chairman of Hampstead’s playing committee, Nick Brown, said: “We are disappointed, down but not out. However we do need to turn things around soon otherwise the title will be out of our reach.

“There are 12 games left and we are almost 20 points off the top. Clearly we have made it difficult for ourselves, but we can’t change that now, we can only look forward to next Saturday.

“Everyone at the club is 100 per cent supportive of the players. They are good players and the sides we are putting out every week are good enough to win each game, but it is just not happening.

“We are getting some good performances from different guys, but right now, for some reason, it isn’t adding up to quite enough.”

Hampstead skipper Steve Clark won the toss, electing to bat, and he and fellow opener George Adair reached 41 without loss – but Hornsey suddenly took three wickets in rapid succession.

Martin Tucker removed Clark (19) while No3 Ben Scott faced just two balls before departing for a duck, caught by home captain Michael Philipson off Tucker – and when Adair (21) was caught by Jack Goldberg off Ed Wharton (1-50), Hampstead were 41-3.

Ragheb Aga struck a six but could only make 10 before Tucker prised him out, and Philipson trapped Freddie Fairhead (9) lbw as Hampstead slumped to 70-5.

Fortunately for the visitors, Liam Hughes and Mubasher Hassan proved more resilient, and they added 67 runs together.

Hassan (32) eventually became the fourth victim of Tucker (4-46), but Hughes continued to frustrate Hornsey, adding another 43 runs alongside Rob Jones and hauling the away team to 180-6.

However, Jones (10) was stumped by Rossington after a ball from Sandeep Singh and Oli Yew then captured the vital wicket of Hughes, who was caught by Henry Howard after making 70 – easily his side’s top score.

Charlie Cooke added 12 before being trapped in front of his wicket by Singh (2-25), and Yew (2-26) then bowled last man Chris Beaumont-Dark for a duck as Hampstead were dismissed for 211 after 53.3 overs.

Hornsey made light work of the chase, with their opening pair reaching 64 together.

That became 66-2 as Conor Goodwin-Tindall (9) was stumped by Cooke off the bowling of Mark Jones (1-46), while James Bull was snared leg before by Beaumont-Dark (1-19). However, Hornsey’s third-wicket pair secured the victory.

Philipson hit an unbeaten 66 off 88 balls – including nine fours – and Rossington just eclipsed him, striking seven fours and three sixes en route to 70 not out as the hosts reached their target in 39.3 overs.

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