Hoddesdon Cricket Club enjoyed a perfect start to the 2019 League Season on Saturday, bagging themselves maximum points as all four teams notched up victories. The 1st team recorded a quite remarkable win at Lowfield as they chased down Ampthill’s daunting 361 for 7, rattling up 364 for 4 off only 45 overs. It’s fair to say that the wicket was a belter but Hoddesdon’s bowling and fielding performance had left room for improvement. When number seven Jack Fuller produced a withering onslaught (122 off only 58 balls) in the second half of Ampthill’s innings, to many perhaps the game seemed lost. But Jamie Curtis and Jayden Broodryk had other things in mind.
Opening the innings, the belligerent Curtis and more orthodox and controlled Broodryk brought up their 100 partnership in the 14th over - and then they just kept going. Scoring throughout at 7 an over, Broodryk was first to his 100 off 93 overs followed by Curtis two overs later off 87 balls. When Curtis was eventually the first to go in the 35th over, they had put on 268 and Ampthill were on their knees. With less than 100 needed off the final 15 overs, all that was needed was for Broodryk to see it through with sensible support from the other end. The South African didn’t disappoint. The total was reached with 5 overs to go with the relentless Broodryk undefeated on a staggering 197 not out off only 142 balls. It was peerless batting with shots all around the wicket off front foot and back foot. Old-stagers who’d watched a lot of cricket over the years could not recall seeing its like before. And while it is Broodryk’s innings that will be longest remembered, the part that Curtis played was barely any less important.
At Bishop’s Stortford the 2nd team, promoted last year to Division 3, enjoyed an equally exciting contest in a match reduced to 35 overs a side. George Blemkin’s nicely-paced 50 was the main contribution to Hoddesdon’s 163-6 with useful knocks additionally coming from Ashley Leat and Tom Fryers. Stortford were always in the game, keeping up with the required scoring rate but lost important wickets in the later stages to keep Hoddesdon alive. Six were needed off the final over to be bowled by 18-year-old Max Murray. They youngster kept his head and produced a perfect over. Needing three to win off the last ball and two tie, they managed only a single.
The 3rd team, also promoted last season, found themselves away to newly-formed Cheshunt Rosedale at Wormley Playing Fields. Invited to bat first on a damp wicket, they put together a very competitive score of 227-3 off 45 overs. Highlights included a very promising 46 from 14-year-old Ollie Welsby on debut in adult cricket, a belligerent 41 not out from veteran Rob Harcombe and 91 not out from even older veteran Nick Gandon. In reply Cheshunt Rosedale could muster only 110. Two 18 year-olds with big futures ahead of them, Alex Charles-Wall and Angus Watson, were the pick of the bowlers with three and two wickets apiece.
The 4th team’s victory occurred by default, their opponents Ickleford conceding having been unable to field a side. Still that’s 30 points in the bag. “Easy this captaincy lark” says new skipper Ross Maughan.
On Sunday, the 1st team enjoyed a very convincing but much less dramatic win against Southgate in the 2nd Round of the National Club Cricket Competition. Hoddesdon’s 252-6 off 40 overs was built around Jamie Curtis (58) and Jayden Broodryk (50) - both presumably still seeing it like a football – and new boy Will Steward’s pugnacious 36. A pretty weak Southgate, who 40 years ago won the same competition outright, scrambled a paltry 59, offering easy pickings for Bill Thorne (6-33) and Harry Mason (1-16) and Jamie Curtis (2-10).
Updated 20:35 - 14 Jun 2019 by Ian Munday