Late-order runs crucial admits Hampstead chairman Brown after loss

The latest news from the local cricket scene (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

The latest news from the local cricket scene (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

After Hampstead had reduced visiting Ealing to 178-7, the away side got up to 230 and it proved the difference at Lymington Road

Nick Brown felt the main reason Hampstead were unable to triumph over Ealing at home in the Middlesex County Premier Division on Saturday was due to Scott Ensom's 32 not out down the order for last season's runners-up.

The hosts looked in an extremely favourable position with the visitors reduced to 178-7, but they were able to eke out 52 more runs despite the best efforts of Will Roberts, who finished with 4-30 from seven overs.

In the end, it proved the difference with Hampstead dismissed for 194 in the 46th over and leaving the field slightly disgruntled.

Chairman Brown said: "It was very disappointing to lose. It was a tight game, with both teams having periods where they were on top. However we will look on this being a missed opportunity to make a big step forward.

"Ealing got off to a good start, but we pegged them back with Will Roberts getting three wickets.

"Then the two Australians, Bailey Capel (61) and Ryan Farrell (58), consolidated the Ealing position and put them in charge, without in truth ever getting away from us.

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"We then took four wickets in eight balls, including three in three, to bring the game right back to us at 178-7, but in the end the difference probably came down to the 32 runs that Scott Ensom scored, helping Ealing up to 230."

In reply, Hampstead put on 50 for the first wicket, but Callum Jackson's dismissal for 21 halted their progress a touch.

Still, Jack Biddulph remained at the crease and made it to 78 before he was bowled to leave the hosts on 136-4.

From here, Ben Frazer caught the eye with 32, but he lacked support and Hampstead were out with 25 balls remaining.

Brown added: "Our chase started really well, we promoted Jack Biddulph to open and he and Callum Jackson got us off to a great start.

"When the game was interrupted for rain, we were ahead on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method (DLS), 130-3 with 19 overs to play.

"I must admit I was hoping we wouldn't get back on, but the rain break seemed to impact us more the Ealing.

"Jack was out soon after the restart for 78 and although Ben Frazer made 32, we didn't get any other contributions and finished short.

"Ironically we were 178-7, exactly the same as Ealing at one point and so the runs from Scott Ensom really did make a difference."