Simpson back in groove for Bron
OPENER Tom Simpson picked up where he left off last season with an unbeaten century to clinch Brondesbury's first Middlesex County League premier division success of the new campaign. Simpson, who was
By Pat Mooney
Brondesbury 223-5 Richmond 221-9
OPENER Tom Simpson picked up where he left off last season with an unbeaten century to clinch Brondesbury's first Middlesex County League premier division success of the new campaign.
Simpson, who was Brondesbury's leading run-scorer in 2006, returned to the side with an impressive 105 not out and guided the visitors home with three balls to spare.
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Brondesbury had stuttered when three wickets fell in quick succession to Richmond spinner Phil Stephenson but skipper Mark Lowrey forged an unbroken partnership of 57 with Simpson to seal the victory.
"Tom deserves all the plaudits," said Lowrey. "He may not score quickly at the beginning of his innings, but you can be sure he won't throw it away once he gets past 50. If you've got someone in the top five scoring a century or being not out at the end, you'll always have a good chance of winning the game."
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Lowrey won the toss, put Richmond in to bat, and Danny Evans and Toby Sharpe immediately took control with some economical bowling.
Sharpe, bowling into a strong wind, finished with 2-25 from 11 overs and claimed the vital wickets of opener Oliver Hutton and Owen Hewlett, for 39.
Seamer Ben Claypole also took wickets at regular intervals, posting 4-50, while the spin of Matt Cox (2-40) also ensured Richmond were unable to get on top. Cox claimed the wickets of Matthew Balch (40) and Chris Goldie (21), whose eighth-wicket stand of 52 propelled Richmond to a declaration at 221-9.
"It probably should have been a few less but I felt we bowled really well to restrict them," added Lowrey. "Matt's figures were less flattering than they should have been and Danny also bowled tightly until the last few overs - in fact, Ben picked up one or two of the wickets Danny might have deserved."
Jason Molins (19) was first man out in Brondesbury's reply, but Brett Penny (23) and Claypole (28) stayed with Simpson and took the visitors to a healthy 144-2. But Claypole fell to Stephenson and, with Matt Cousen and Will Howard also going cheaply to the same bowler, the required run-rate began to climb. At one point Brond needed seven an over but Lowrey (24no) helped Simpson to his ton and struck a boundary to see his side across the line.
l On Sunday, Claypole's undefeated half-century guided Brondesbury into the third round of the Cockspur Cup with a low-scoring victory at Chingford.