Potten End - Herts Village Trophy Semi Final v Bengeo Cricket Club Bengeo C.C on Sun 11 Aug 2013 at 13.00
Bengeo Cricket Club Won By 14 Runs

Match report Bengeo turned up for finals day, and for some via the “sunshine minibus” to Woolhams Sports Ground, a lovely modern cricketing venue located between the lovely towns of St Albans and Harpenden to launch what we hoped would be an epic crusade in winning the club’s first ever 20/20 regional trophy having previously appeared in finals day, but leaving without the trophy. In our semi-final we were drawn against a team we knew little about, Potten End who are a premier division team from the Mid-Bucks Kookaburra league. There was just enough time for the team to watch a true hum dinging end to semi-final 1 which involved the number 10 batsmen of Aspenden Standon and Puckeridge hitting a straight 6 off the penultimate ball of the last over to give them victory by 2 wickets. So we knew who was in the final, our local rivals, with a former Bengeo player in their ranks – could we join them?

Toss won and Ian Ruskin our skipper decides to bat, influenced I am sure by the 360 odd runs scored in semi-final one. Robinson and Sharp to open for Bengeo, the old left, right hander partnership we hoped would get us off to a good start and so it proved. Sensible batting, with some nice strokes coming predominantly from Robinson ensured Bengeo reached 34 without loss. The fifth over saw Bengeo lose their first wicket, Sharp losing his off stump by a ball that kept a little low and jagged back in. One down with just short of 40 on the board. Sameer Patel to the crease, and for the next 3 overs Bengeo pushed along at 6 or so an over with nice strokes from both Robinson and Patel. The boys were looking good. Time for Potten End to take some pace off the ball and bring on the spin – this was to prove an inspired decision. First ball, a short rank long hop and Robinson picked the one close fielder out on the off side and is sent back to the pavilion for a well batted 32 runs. Mark Bateman to the crease to take a couple but a solid over for the opposition. The next over was steady with Bateman and Patel ticking over with some good running between the wickets. Could we revive the innings? In terms of batting that is as good as it got for Bengeo as spin in the next over was to prove pivotal as Patel was out LBW for 18 just as he looked set and this was to be followed by the skipper just two balls later caught in the deep trying to clear the long off boundary. Suddenly after a promising start Bengeo were 80 odd for 5 after 12 overs. The wickets kept on coming at regular intervals due to some questionable running between the wickets and before we knew it we were bowled out for 115 in 17 overs . A criminal effort given the strength of our batting unit and Potten End rightly went off confident of progressing through to the final. Intent on at least putting up a fight and playing for pride the Bengeo bowlers were determined to get some early break through’ s and put Potten End under pressure. A great first spell from Dowling and Guy immediately put the pressure on Potten End. Despite the clear intent of the Potten End openers which included dancing down the wicket first ball to Dowling the first 3 overs only yielded 8 runs backed up with dynamic fielding coupled with aggressive field positions, Potten End could not beat the infield and when they did some inspired fielding in the deep by Lawrence Adamson ensured they could only take the singles on offer. Cue to the changing of the game – Ruskin to call on Bateman, his first bowl since becoming a married man and one of Bengeo’s own spinners on to try and change the game. So it proved, as the aggressive intent shown by the Potten End openers would prove to be their downfall as Sameer Patel held a nice catch in the deep to give Bateman his first. Sameer Patel also then came into the action and the first over of his own spin proved to be just as tight with only 3 runs being conceded and suddenly 6 overs gone with under 20 on the board, could the fight back be on? Bateman’s second successive over was to be game changing, with 2 wickets falling in 3 balls the first due to some lightening work behind the stumps by Rohan Patel and just two balls later the other Potten End opener was sent packing back to the pavilion – bowled Bateman. 3 down for less than 30 Bengeo had started to get themselves ahead of the game. Sameer Patel again backed this up in the next over by only going for one run and the rate was climbing significantly. Bateman continued his inspired spell and again went for a very cheap over despite the now urgent intent from the opposition and by half way Bengeo were ahead of the game. With proactive captaincy and not allowing the batsmen to settle Ruskin brought himself on determined to contribute for his circumspect batting display and proved why he is skipper of the side with two wickets in two balls in his first over to leave Potten End reeling at 50 odd for 5 with the overs quickly ticking away. With the fine fielding standards being maintained to back the bowlers up, and good tight overs from Mick Walker, Ruskin and Mark Guy, Potten End required more than 10 an over from the last 4 with Dowling and Patel chosen to bowl the death overs. With Dowling only conceding 3 runs from the first over of his return spell and Patel only conceding 5 Bengeo were very aware that as long as the standards remained the same we would have somehow managed to make the final. With 2 overs left and Potten End needing runs they tried to smash the ball out of the park however could not hit the boundaries they needed and Dowling’s job was done. The final over with Potten End requiring over 20 runs to win, the kitchen sink was thrown at the bowling and the only thing that returned was 3 wickets to Patel including a beautiful one handed caught and bowled off the last ball – it summed up what a great effort our bowling until of Walker M, Patel S, Ruskin, Guy, Bateman and Dowling had put in. It was a real effort of hunting in packs and they had restored the pride in the Bengeo shirt that most of the batsmen had left behind. We were there, a final appearance against our local rival’s Asp’s………………………………………….would Potter come back to haunt us or would we have his number, who would hold their nerve and raise aloft the trophy we were all there to play for? The drama would unfold over the next couple of hours.

Bengeo Cricket Club Bengeo C.C Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
12w 1b 4lb 
for 10 wickets

(19.0 overs)
Lee Robinson ct Fenn 32 5
Mike Sharp b Gurney 9 1
Sameer Patel lbw Fenn 18 1 2
Mark Bateman Run out  14 1
Ian Ruskin ct Fenn 0 1
Rohan Patel Run out  6 1
Craig Walker ct Fenn 5
Adam Dowling b Gurney 8 1
Lawrence Adamson ct Ginger 1
Mick Walker Not Out  4
Mark Guy b Ginger 1

Potten End - Herts Village Trophy Semi Final Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy

Potten End - Herts Village Trophy Semi Final Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
3nb 3w 4lb 
for 8 wickets
101 (20.0 overs)
Pickard b Bateman 6
Lee ct Bateman 14
Hill st Bateman 2
Gurney b S.Patel 22
Fenn lbw Ruskin 22
Hawkridge b Ruskin 0
Ginger ct S.Patel 22
Bevan ct S.Patel 3

Bengeo Cricket Club Bengeo C.C Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Adam Dowling4.002200.005.50
Mark Guy4.002300.005.75
Sameer Patel4.001334.333.25
Mark Bateman4.001334.333.25
Mick Walker2.001500.007.50
Ian Ruskin2.001326.506.50