Hampstead suffer another setback in their title defence after defeat to Teddington

Liam Hughes was Hampstead's best performer with the bat and ball but his efforts were not enough to

Liam Hughes was Hampstead's best performer with the bat and ball but his efforts were not enough to save his side from defeat. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Hampstead suffered another setback in their title defence, losing for the third time in their opening four Premier Division matches after falling 99 runs short in their chase against Teddington.

Steve Clark’s side - who won the title in 2013 and 2015 – were visiting the 2014 champions and, while Liam Hughes took four wickets, the hosts batted strongly to post 264-7 after their allotted 50 overs.

That target proved well beyond Hampstead, and Hughes’ knock of 35 was their top score as they were bowled out for 165 after 37.4 overs.

Chairman Nick Brown said: “This is obviously another bad result for us. We can’t get any consistency of selection and there is no doubt that this is impacting our performances.

“We were without Ragheb Aga this week, which was a big miss after his superb hundred last week, and we always miss him with the ball.

“We’ve also been without Will Roberts for two weeks with a side strain and he’s probably been our best bowler this season. We’ve had Liam Hughes out for two weeks too, while Ollie Steele has missed two games and Scott Barlow has missed games for family reasons.

“These aren’t excuses and every club has selection issues, but we appear to have had a lot in a short period of time. We are, after all, only four games into the season.

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“However, these are important players and we haven’t done well enough without them. I’m hopeful that we will look closer to full strength on Saturday. Richmond will be a tough test but this is almost a must-win game for us now.”

Teddington elected to bat on Saturday and reached 50 without loss. Clark (1-24) had James Keightley (16) caught, and James Fear (11) was run out by Henry Collier before Hughes (4-56) prised out opener Tom Twiney (54), leaving the hosts 95-3.

However, Ben Williams then came to the crease and hit 73 off 74 balls, with support from Tim Armstrong (28) and James Wade, to take Teddington to 210-4.

Hughes eventually dismissed Williams but Wade went on to notch an unbeaten 22 off 23 balls and Charles Hopkins blazed 20 off 16 deliveries, while Tom Elliott (8) and Will Rist (11 not out) also helped to add a flurry of late runs in the final overs.

Hampstead lost George Adair (10) early on in their reply and, although Clark (24) and Collier (12) led a recovery, they both fell with the score on 52.

Hughes (35) offered some resistance but Sam Evison (4) and Rob Jones (5) were both dismissed by James Keightley (4-20), who claimed his second and third wickets in a row, and Hughes was then caught off the bowling of Jack Sever (3-43), who promptly ousted Archie Fellowes (8) as well.

Hampstead were now 126-7 and, although tail-enders Jack Biddulph (13) and Charlie Wedgwood (22) both scored at a run a ball, they were both removed by David Keightley (2-39) while Tom Wilde fell for a duck as Hampstead ended up well short.