Valiant North London suffer last-day relegation

NORTH London failed to win their crucial clash with Enfield and have been relegated from Division Two after a dramatic final day of action. NL went into the crunch clash with 47 points, six adrift of South Hampstead...

MCL DIVISION TWO

NORTH LONDON 208 (0PTS) lost to ENFIELD 240 (10pts)

NORTH London failed to win their crucial clash with Enfield and have been relegated from Division Two after a dramatic final day of action.

NL went into the crunch clash with 47 points, six adrift of South Hampstead (53) who were at Brentham on Saturday.


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Their relegation rivals were well beaten, being bowled out for just 101 and losing by six wickets in a game that was done and dusted not long after 5pm.

That news had filtered through to North London, who therefore knew that victory and 10 points would be enough to guarantee their safety and another season in the middle tier of the Middlesex County League.

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By that stage NL also knew their victory target, 241, after a century from Enfield opener Anthony Heraghty had set the platform for the visitors.

Kelvyn Smith (2-35) and Maaz Haffeji (2-45) both took wickets at regular intervals while off-spinner Tom Noutch (3-17) was the pick of the bowlers and finally dismissed Heraghty for 115, caught by Richard Hall.

However, 51 from John Allen lifted the visitors to 240 all out, but in only 44.2 overs which left NL plenty of time to get the runs.

Their chase did not start well though, with the early loss of skipper Mark Askew and leading scorer Chris Ridley, and despite middle-order resistance from Jeff Hurrell (46), Hall (22) and James Battcock (35), NL were always struggling.

They battled to the end though, and even when tailenders Ben Wakeford (13), James Baker (15) and last man Smith (11 not out) were at the crease there was still hope of a miraculous escape.

However, Baker fell in the 51st over with NL still 32 runs short of salvation.

They will thus join neighbours Hornsey and Highgate in Division Three next season, with North Middlesex the only local club to ply their trade in Division Two.

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