Search

Gourlay: Highgate can reflect on a strong season despite missing out on promotion

14:06 01 September 2014

Craig Gourlay bats for Highgate. Pic: Max Flego

Craig Gourlay bats for Highgate. Pic: Max Flego

Max Flego Sports Photography

Craig Gourlay says Highgate can feel satisfied with their league showing this season despite missing out on promotion to Division Two.

Freddie Barrass took 6-80 for Highgate. Pic: Paolo MinoliFreddie Barrass took 6-80 for Highgate. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Highgate’s hopes of going up were ended on Saturday when they lost at Acton, who claimed the runners-up spot behind champions Wembley as a result.

But stand-in captain Gourlay, who struck a valiant unbeaten 67 as the visitors fell 90 runs short, feels his side should not be disheartened by their performances during the current campaign.

“I have to be objective and say ‘Acton have beaten us twice, Wembley have beaten us twice’ and that shows there are two better teams than us in this competition,” Gourlay told the Gazette.

“At the start of each year we aim for eight wins and we’ve actually got that this time. Usually eight wins is enough, with a few four-pointers – but this year is a total anomaly.

“Internally, we look at our season and we’ve done all we set out to do, but it hasn’t been enough and it’s a credit to these two teams who have done more.

“We win more than we lose and we’ve got four new guys this year who are all young guys and all first-teamers. So club-wise we are happy with the year we’ve had.

“But it’s disappointing not to be either playing for promotion this week or already there. We’ll turn up against the Tamils on Saturday with good spirit and focus, then we’ll come back next year.”

Gourlay won the toss at Acton and opted to field, gaining early successes as Freddie Barrass (6-80) removed openers James Hunt (6) and Danyal Ahmad (11).

But the home side’s overseas star Hannadige Soysa took control as he hit a sparkling century, sharing a third-wicket partnership of 144 with Dan Waddell (66).

Although Waddell was eventually caught off Scott Thaxton (1-40), Yasir Mehmood (21) helped the free-scoring Soysa to add another 67 and lift the Acton total to 235-3.

Barrass bowled Mehmood and took a catch off Ed Foster (2-90) to end Soysa’s innings of 131 from 122 balls before picking up another three wickets as Acton scrambled to an imposing total of 298-9 from 53 overs.

The four-point target of 265 seemed a more realistic aim for the visitors and, although they lost Will Bowley to a questionable leg before decision for 15, Chris Arul (22) and Ed Atkins (14) steered them to 54-1.

But Atkins, who had just survived a chance at mid-off, was stumped off James Hunt (1-48) and when Arul was caught behind soon afterwards off Tom Forsdike (3-35), Highgate were in trouble at 58-3.

Ed Binns (25) seemed to be hitting his stride when he was taken at slip off Forsdike and, when Nick Brunner (0) was caught behind attempting to hook the next ball, the visitors were 95-5.

Will Russell (48) and Gourlay kept their side’s hopes alive with a stand of 72 but, when Russell was tempted down the wicket by Acton skipper John Reeve, wicketkeeper Alex Manning completed his second stumping.

With the required run-rate climbing into double figures, Gourlay was left stranded on 67 not out as Alex Brennan (4-29) cleaned up the tail – and sealed his side’s promotion – in the 43rd over.

“Soysa really did take his chances and the way he batted, with pace, enabled them to control the game,” added Gourlay, who has led Highgate in the absence of injured skipper Jake Sharland.

“Their batting really set it up, but I did think we gave ourselves a chance – we felt if we needed 100 from the last 10 overs or thereabouts, we could pull a rabbit out of the hat.

“But it’s hard to play on a big ground against good, tight spin bowling and the Acton spinners are seasoned performers, so all credit to them.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sport Stories

47 minutes ago
Tommy Tejan-Sie lets fly for Wingate & Finchley. Pic: Martin Addison

Wingate & Finchley captain Marc Weatherstone feels the Blues have gained an important boost of confidence after earning their first win in 10 games by beating Burgess Hill Town 5-1 in the Ryman League Premier Division on Saturday.

Harry Kane (left) celebrates with his team-mates after scoring his second goal in last week's 3-0 victory at Norwich. Pic: Chris Radburn/PA

Harry Kane has stressed the importance of the atmosphere, culture and unity in Tottenham’s squad and says there are no “bad eggs” in the dressing room.

10:02
Adam Voges in action for Australia

Middlesex have confirmed the return of Adam Voges as their overseas player – as well as appointing new captains for both of their limited-overs sides.

14:41
Highgate Harriers' Oran Gallagher was fourth in the boys' Under-13 race. Pic: Dieter Perry

Highgate Harriers’ Under-11 boys romped to victory in round four of the North West London Young Athletes League at the Bannister Stadium on Saturday.

Sunday, February 7, 2016
Harry Kane (right) has praised Tottenham's head coach Mauricio Pochettino. Pic: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Harry Kane says the speculation about Mauricio Pochettino’s future shows Tottenham “must be doing something right”.

Mesut Oezil  (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal got back to winning ways on Sunday afternoon with a 2-0 win in the Barclays Premier League over AFC Bournemouth at The Vitality Stadium.

Saturday, February 6, 2016
Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino admits his players are finally starting to believe they can win the Premier League title.

Kieran Trippier celebrates his winning goal against Watford at White Hart Lane

Kieran Trippier scored his first goal for Tottenham as the Lilywhites secured a 1-0 home win over Watford and climbed to second place in the Premier League table.

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe