A ‘weird game throughout’ was how captain Tom Mellor viewed Boyne Hill’s dramatic single-wicket win over Henley 2nds on Saturday.
The Hill looked destined for a second defeat of the season, chasing 272-6 from 50 overs, before their overseas player Matt Leipold dragged them back into contention with an almost chanceless 109 from 98 balls.
Without it, Mellor admitted, Hill wouldn’t even have got close. In the end Leipold and Hamid Riaz (47) accelerated Boyne Hill’s charge, and some late runs from Mellor, who managed 39 not out, took them to victory with a wicket, and one ball, to spare.
“It was a weird game throughout,” admitted Mellor.
“We were 10-2 and then cruising along at 170-3, but it looked certain we would lose at 202-8. If it wasn’t for Matt we would have got nowhere near their total. Matt scored so quickly that, even though we were dropping wickets, we were always up and around the run rate. It gave us a real chance so that when myself and Alex (Bartlett, who contributed 27 runs) came in we could have a little dip at it.”
Hill needed just four runs off the final over which they managed with a delivery to spare as Mellor sent the ball towards the boundary.
“It was great because we had nothing in hand,” he said.
“The win takes away a bit of the pressure for us. If we’d lost our first two games we’d have been facing a relegation battle almost before the season had started. I feel we’ve played two of the stronger sides now (in Henley 2nds and Gerrards Cross – who beat Hill last weekend), but in my time we’ve never chased a score like that before.”
It was a victory Boyne Hill claimed from the jaws of defeat, said Mellor, whose side quickly took the initiative with the ball, bowling out Bjorn Mordt and Euan Brock for ducks to leave the visitors on 32-3.
David Barnes (39) shared a good stand with Chris Ellison, before the latter motored Henley on with a fine century (104). Late runs from Zac Jones (19no) and Charlie Homewood (21no) left Henley in a strong , but not invincible, position.
In reply Hill initially slumped to 11-2 but recovered thanks to the form of Leipold, who passed his century before falling to a catch at deep square leg. Hill then stumbled again to 202-8 when victory was in their reach, however, when it was needed their captain came good.
Boyne Hill visit Wokingham on Saturday afternoon.
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