Hampstead avoid defeat to Richmond but drop back into relegation zone

Sam Evison hit 78 for Hampstead against Richmond. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Sam Evison hit 78 for Hampstead against Richmond. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Struggling Hampstead avoided a defeat against title contenders Richmond, who finished just three runs short of a winning score – but they still dropped back into the relegation zone in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County League.

Sam Evison hit 78 as Hampstead posted a total of 232 from 64.2 overs, and Richmond were very close to a successful chase, ending up with 230-7 from 59 overs.

That secured a point for the Lymington Road side – but Shepherd’s Bush secured their fifth victory of the season to leapfrog Hampstead and dump the reigning champions back into the bottom two.

Chairman Nick Brown said: “This was a hard-earned and deserved draw for us. We were without a number of key players and it is great credit to the lads who did play and put up a very good performance.

“We now face three season-defining matches, starting on Saturday at home against Southgate, and then against Stanmore and Twickenham.

“We have played well against each of them in the longer-format games and have no reason to be fearful in the 50-over format.”

Richmond inserted Hampstead, who were 71-3 before Archie Fellowes (31) joined opener Evison in a 67-run partnership.

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Evison then guided the visitors to 197-5, aided by Jonathan Dunne (42), who was last man out as Hampstead ended up on 232.

Richmond made a similar start to Hampstead in their reply, reaching 74-3 – but when Will Roberts (3-41) had both Joe Smith (27) and Jack Porter (3) caught by Ollie Steele, the hosts were in a bit of trouble at 168-6.

However, Alex Griffiths hit an unbeaten 68, supported by James Essex (19) and David Burton (19 not out), and Richmond very nearly won the game in a tense finale.