Middlesex County League: North Mid seal derby win after Hornsey collapse
North Middlesex upset promotion-chasing Hornsey on Saturday, putting the skids under their local rivals’ bid for a place in the top two in Division Two.
Hornsey’s Paul Weekes took five wickets as hosts North Mid were dismissed for 183 at Park Road – and Chetan Patel’s visitors seemed to be course for victory as they reached 75-3 in reply.
However, Hornsey suffered a dramatic collapse, losing their last six batsmen for a combined total of 26 runs and falling well short, with Darren Eckford emulating Weekes’ five-for.
North Mid’s victory was their third win in a row, and also their second derby triumph in successive weeks, following their eight-wicket mauling of Highgate.
That run of 30 points from a possible 30 has taken Alex Hill’s side out of the relegation places and into the comfort of midtable, 19 points above the drop zone.
Meanwhile, Hornsey’s disappointment was exacerbated by the news that the two teams above them, Southgate and Shepherd’s Bush, had both won, leaving them 13 points outside the top two, and 22 points off the top.
Third-placed Hornsey won the toss at the weekend and elected to bowl.
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Joel Gregory struck early on, having Hill (7) caught behind by Alex Scrini, and No3 Evan Flowers made 13 before being run out.
Opener Adam Holmes reached 39 before being caught by Sanjay Patel off Gregory (2-48), and Joe Hewton notched 35 before being caught by Chetan Patel off Bhasker Patel.
At 107-4, North Mid were hoping to press on and pass 200, but Jaron Semper (17) became Weekes’ first victim and, when Anthony Holloway (6) and Zulfiqar Bipul (0) followed him back to the pavilion, the home side were labouring at 141-7.
Dexter Thomas reached 26 before Weekes had him caught behind, but Will Nicoll could only muster five before he was caught off the same bowler.
Struggling at 159-9, North Mid were well below par. However, Eckford delayed the end with a resilient knock of 23 alongside Matt Haywood (2 not out).
The final pair added a useful 24 runs, taking the final score up to 183, when Weekes (5-41) took his fifth wicket – and his fourth in a row – to have Eckford caught after 52.3 overs.
Hornsey’s reply got off to a shaky start as Sanjay Patel was dismissed for a duck, caught off the bowling of Eckford.
Anthony Murphy came in at No3 and took the visitors to 44 alongside Deepesh Makwana, before being caught by Haywood off
Murphy was replaced by Weekes, who shared a 31-run partnership with opener Makwana, but that was broken when Makwana (43) was caught off Eckford, who claimed his second wicket.
Despite that loss, Hornsey were still in a decent position at 75-3, needing 109 runs for victory with seven wickets in hand.
However, the wheels suddenly came off as the middle order and tail comprehensively fell apart, all failing to make double figures.
Eckford (5-71) had Sam Hickingbotham (6) caught by Nicoll, and Martin Tucker could only manage seven runs before being run out.
Weekes (29) was forced to watch from the non-striker’s end as he lost his fourth and fifth partners, Garfield Struthers (6) and Scrini (3) – and then it was his turn, as he was caught by Nicoll off Semper (2-19).
Joel Gregory (4) was gone before another run had been scored, and Hornsey’s dramatic defeat was completed moments later as Bhasker Patel was run out for a duck after 45 overs.
Hornsey now face a potentially pivotal period in their season as they take on the two teams above them, Southgate and Shepherd’s Bush, in successive matches.
Meanwhile, Highgate put up a brave display against leaders Southgate, but remain rooted to the foot of the table after their seventh defeat of the season.
Chasing 190 to win, Southgate were easing to victory when a clatter of late wickets gave Highgate hope, but the hosts held their nerve to notch a two-wicket win.
However, there were plenty of positives for Highgate, who would have expected to struggle once they lost the toss and were asked to bat at the Walker Ground.
Despite losing openers Nasirul Alam and James Warburton cheaply, Jake Sharland and Hammad Hassan then combined in a third-wicket partnership that frustrated the home side.
Both scored fine half-centuries, Sharland hitting 11 fours in his knock of 66, and all-rounder Hassan eight fours and a six in his 65.
The only problem was that nobody else really contributed, and Highgate were all out in the 53rd over for 189.
In reply Southgate looked comfortable after 47 from skipper Matt Creese and 57 from Faisal Mir – but a late rush of wickets saw them falter to 184-8 as Christopher Gallagher took 4-18 from just six overs and Hassan 2-26 from 10, before the hosts regained their composure to knock off the winning runs.
Elsewhere, in Division Three, North London rose into the promotion spots on Saturday, but their winning draw felt like a defeat after a seemingly simple victory eluded them.
Having had Ickenham on the ropes at 100-8 and dismissed their ninth man with 19 overs remaining, NL had 114 balls to take the final wicket, but failed to do so and threw away six points in the race for promotion.
Asked to bat, North London began badly as Matt Hoyle and James Kee departed for ducks, and Byron Hackshall followed for nine.
Ian Johns (31), Jack Atchinson (62) and first-team debutant Milo Jennings (23) staged a fightback, but a couple of quick wickets left NL in trouble again at 160-6.
Young Ted Greally (21) stemmed the tide but was then caught off the bowling of his school form teacher, Herman Wessels – and stand-in skipper Tom Wakeford (6) and debutant Daniel Lewis (0) promptly followed.
Fortunately, the final pair of Bill Ward (25) and Jonathan Scantlebury (7) took NL from 170-9 to a total of 196 – and the defence began well as Hackshall (3-17) dismissed Ickenham’s top three batsmen for a combined total of 22 runs.
That took his tally to 35 wickets for the campaign, but the Aussie was forced off the field moments later as a drive from Troy Scanlon caught him on the left wrist.
Tom Wakeford (2-25) replaced him and took two quick wickets, and Scantlebury (2-47) followed suit, bowling Paul Sims (4) and then having Stephen Gibson (8) caught in his next over.
Lewis (2-19) snared David Gibson (18) leg before and, with Ickenham staring down the barrel at 100-8, Sarvinder Phalora (2) chipped another Lewis delivery to Wakeford.
With 19 overs remaining, NL were bowling at their visitors’ last pair.
However, teacher Wessels (24 not out) provided an education in restraint with A Ayer (21no), leaving NL to rue a badly missed opportunity, despite a result which took them into the top two.