Fired-up Weekes wrecks Bron's title ambitions

Hampstead showed no neighbourly love on Saturday as they extinguished Brondesbury's title hopes in the Middlesex County League premier division. Hampstead totally outplayed the visitors – removing them for 178 before

Brondesbury 178 Hampstead 182-3

Hampstead showed no neighbourly love on Saturday as they extinguished Brondesbury's title hopes in the Middlesex County League premier division.

Hampstead totally outplayed the visitors - removing them for 178 before surpassing the target for the loss of only three wickets.

Former Middlesex star Paul Weekes was instrumental in the win. The Hampstead captain finished with 5-43, enough to vindicate his decision to put Brondesbury in after winning the toss. And he went on to score an unbeaten half-century, including the winning runs.


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"His captaincy makes all the difference," said Hampstead chairman Frank Berendt.

Brondesbury opener Tom Simpson was trapped lbw for a duck by Andrew Lamb with his first ball after five weeks out injured. And Simpson's team-mates struggled to recover as Gavin Wren (2-41) removed Ed Crowther (16) and danger man Ben Claypole (12).

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Deepesh Makwana (33) and Brett Penny (29) staged a mini-recovery with a stand of 57 but both fell to Dexter Thomas (2-28) in quick succession. Weekes then carved his way through the lower middle order.

Floundering at 120-8, Brondesbury rallied towards the end, thanks to Chris Palmer, who top-scored with 38 and stand-in skipper Rob Nelson (27 not out). Toby Sharpe (10) helped Nelson add a vital 20 for the last wicket before becoming Weekes' fifth victim, leaving Bron on 178 from 54 overs.

Penny (2-38) gave the visitors a glimmer of hope when Hampstead replied, dismissing Imraan Mohammed for four and then having Brandon Buckley (34) caught by Tom Nicoll.

Spinner Matt Cox bowled Sumeet Sharma for 11 to cause some jitters in the home side at 62-3, but those were dispelled by Weekes and Mohammed Akhtar.

Akhtar struck 10 fours and a six to finish on 64 not out, with Weekes undefeated on 51 as Hampstead cruised to their target after 43 overs.

"Chasing Ealing is going to be very difficult now," admitted Nelson. "It's not impossible but obviously it's out of our hands and realistically we're probably looking to clinch second spot.

"There's no shame in being bowled out by Paul Weekes, but we're going to have to bat better than that - it was a mixture of poor shots and balls that kept low."

l Hampstead (168-7) enjoyed another win the following day when they beat Ealing (130-6) away in the quarter-final of the Middlesex Cup. Weekes and Brandon Buckley both scored half-centuries.

Jonny.weeks@hamhigh.co.uk

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