Hampstead chairman Brown dubbed Crouch End win as ‘game of the season’

Hampstead in action against Finchley (Pic: Leonard Martin)

Hampstead in action against Finchley (Pic: Leonard Martin) - Credit: Archant

Hampstead chairman Nick Brown dubbed their narrow one-run victory over Crouch End as ‘the best game of the season’.

Crouch End won the toss and elected to field first, with Hampstead managing a score of 196 as Jack Biddulph (43) top scored with good support from Callum Jackson (34) and Mubasher Hassan (31).

Hampstead then dismissed their rivals for 195 thanks to superb bowling efforts from across the line-up with Rich Banham (4-34) the top performer.

“It was easily the game of the season, fantastic entertainment from start to finish,” said chairman Brown.

“I was very critical of our batting last week, but no such complaint this week. Crouch End have an excellent bowling attack, perhaps the best spin bowling attack in the league.

“We got an excellent start from Callum and Mubasher, they had to work very hard but batted with all the diligence that was lacking last week.

“Once they were out we struggled to get any real momentum, but continued to keep the score moving and whilst 196 wasn’t a big score, it was going to be competitive.”

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Brown added: “The Crouch End openers got them off to a good start, but Rich Banham eventually got them both in his opening spell. Rich is terrific bowler, a real standout performer every week.

“We kept chipping away, but Crouch End were strong favourites needing 20-odd with five wickets left. To be honest, I’m not sure how we turned it round, certainly Rich coming back and picking up two more wickets was vital.

“I think his second spell was three overs, two wickets for five runs, just brilliant. Then the final over, four to win, eight down, we gave the ball to Ben Frazer and he showed all his quality, bowling the last two players and winning us the game, it was a fantastic finish.”

Brown says Crouch End are a club heading in the right direction and were probably unlucky to suffer defeat.

“I wouldn’t say I feel sorry for Crouch End, but they don’t need any sympathy from us, they’re a club going in the right direction and there is no doubt they will be competitive in the Premier League next season,” he added.