Henley had a tough fixture to finish the season away against Hurst 1sts all be it a nothing game as both teams were safe from relegation. Henley’s usual captain was away this weekend making way for N.Hopkins to take the reins, starting by winning the toss and electing to take to the crease and bat. Henley’s opening partnership of N.Hopkins and Verry went out optimistic of replicating last week’s season record 1st wicket score for the thirds. It looked to be on as Hopkins creamed one through the covers in the first over and runs to be had on a fast outfield. A couple of singles and another four through the covers later the worst happened. Hopkins bowled for only 10 by opposition opening bowler and captain. With Ranger promoted to number three he dug in and defended well against some accurate seam bowling, but most importantly supported Verry who was hitting his trade mark sixes over extra cover and taking on the men in the deep. The slow bowling came on and undoubtedly so did the break through with Hurst’s leading wicket taker for the season getting Ranger caught at mid-wicket. Shortly followed was Verry, out on a 48, criminal.
With two new batsman at the crease the runs dried up. A.Hayden and Bilal did well but the two 17 year olds never looked settled despite some lovely shots from latter that ended up on 22. Further slow batting from the middle order against a good bowling attack it was only looking like one teams day. This was until an exhilarating last wicket partnership in the form of youngster Harris-White and out of retirement J.Hopkins, usually just the lucky mascot. Harris-White only had one intent and that was to hit boundaries. Hopkins did well to hold up one end and was awarded with a solid four not out after a good few overs of firm striking of the leather from the future Henley star Harris-White, including 18 runs off one over before he was bowled for 33 trying to make the most of his form. All out for 162.
Taking the old ball Henley definitely thought they were in with a chance here as the pitch was breaking up. Pratley and A. Hayden started brightly despite a quick fire 28 from Hurst’s number three. Both took a wicket a piece which really got the team going and Henley built up some pressure, that brought out a fine run out of Hurst’s seasons top scorer, a direct hit from Harris-White. Hayden continued to peg back both batsmen with a long spell from one end, finishing with 4 for 49 of 18 overs. Not much of a total to defend against Henley were in with a real chance of clinching this. Ranger was brought into the attack, looking dangerous but leaking a few runs, similarly to seam bowlers Birkett and Harris-White. All unfortunate not to get any wickets to their name. 6 down Hurst did well to build a partnership of Singh and Higgs, who managed to see the game out for the home team to take the victory.