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Roberts claims first five-for in the County League as Hampstead secure crucial victory over Shepherd's Bush

PUBLISHED: 11:59 19 July 2016 | UPDATED: 18:32 19 July 2016

Will Roberts celebrates after taking the second of his five wickets, removing Shepherd's Bush captain Jack Brydon. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Will Roberts celebrates after taking the second of his five wickets, removing Shepherd's Bush captain Jack Brydon. Pic: Paolo Minoli

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Will Roberts claimed his first five-for in the Middlesex County League as Hampstead secured a crucial victory in the relegation fight, overcoming Shepherd’s Bush and closing the gap on their struggling rivals.

Hampstead captain Steve Clark (right) leaves the field with Charlie Wedgwood after hitting 68 off 69 balls and declaring. Pic: Paolo MinoliHampstead captain Steve Clark (right) leaves the field with Charlie Wedgwood after hitting 68 off 69 balls and declaring. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Reigning champions Hampstead had failed to win any of their previous four matches, and a defeat would have left them 17 points from safety – but instead they are now only two points behind Bush, who have lost seven games in a row.

Hampstead elected to bat and the decision paid off. Archie Fellowes (40), George Adair (86) and Henry Collier (43) took the hosts to 193-2, and captain Steve Clark struck 68 off 69 balls, declaring immediately after his dismissal at 292-7 after 61.3 overs.

Bush slumped to 47-4 in reply, with Roberts (5-40) taking three of those wickets – and when Collier (2-20) struck twice in quick succession, the visitors were 72-8.

The ninth-wicket pair of Tom Felton (56) and Ed Morse – who scored just three runs off 77 deliveries – frustrated the bowlers and added 55, but Roberts eventually bowled Morse and Felton followed moments later in the 55th over.

Shepherd's Bush bowler Tom Felton ponders a dropped caught and bowled chance. Pic: Paolo MinoliShepherd's Bush bowler Tom Felton ponders a dropped caught and bowled chance. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Hampstead chairman Nick Brown said: “This was much better. We put a big score on the board and then, for the most part, dominated with the ball.

“It did get a bit tense as we fought hard to get the last two wickets and I think there were times when we thought it wasn’t going to happen, but Will broke the ninth-wicket stand and that was that.

“I think we’re playing pretty good cricket at the moment. We’ve averaged about 270 batting first in the last four weeks and have taken 35 wickets, yet we’ve only won one game. If we keep playing at this level, that will change.”

Hampstead will aim to build momentum when they visit basement boys Eastcote on Saturday.

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