‘Outsiders’ Hampstead looking to keep on roll

Hampstead captain Matt Watson in the field (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo).

Hampstead captain Matt Watson in the field (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo). - Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo

Matt Watson’s men will entertain Stanmore on Saturday aiming to keep pace with Ealing and North Middlesex

Hampstead chairman Nick Brown knows his team are outsiders for the Middlesex County Premier Division title but is happy to be in the mix.

The Lymington Road side are the form club in the league after putting together a string of wins while joint-leaders Ealing and North Middlesex have struggled for victories.

It saw Hampstead jump up the table, but with only four games left, they trail the top two by eight points ahead of Saturday's home encounter with Stanmore.

Brown said: "We move to the 50-over format now and we're relying on Ealing or North Middlesex to lose to give us a chance at the title.

"We're very much outsiders and we have tough games to play, so I would say distant outsiders, but after the start to the season we had and the injuries, we're happy to be in with any chance."

Last weekend Hampstead got over the line in narrow circumstances at Twickenham, winning by one wicket chasing 166.

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Scott Barlow's 4-31 backed up fine earlier work by Rich Banham (2-50) and Ben Frazer (3-37) as the hosts were all out for 165.

In reply, Hampstead were on course for a comfortable victory, but lost a flurry of wickets and it made for an exciting finish.

Once opener Mubasher Hassan (42), Frazer (36) and Sam Evison (29) were out, it was left to the lower-order to get the title-chasing outfit over the line and they did in thrilling fashion.

"It was a very hard earned win and the fourth very tight and exciting game in a row," Brown admitted.

Hampstead's other sides also had plenty to shout about with the second-team, thirds and fifth XI all victorious.

Stephen Lishman, of the fifth-team, had a day to savour as he claimed incredible figures of 10-45 off 16.2 overs.

Brown added: "Stephen Lishman, playing in our fives, took all 10 wickets in their game against Alexandra Park on Saturday.

"I don't know if it's been done before by a Hampstead player, but it certainly hasn't been done in my time at the club. It is a fantastic and very rare occurrence and naturally he won our 'Player of the Day' award for last weekend."