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Brondesbury skipper believes Bush whacking was a blessing in disguise

PUBLISHED: 17:30 24 June 2013 | UPDATED: 18:03 24 June 2013

Sam Smith

Sam Smith

Archant

Brondesbury skipper John Fosbraey believes his side's crushing defeat by Shepherd's Bush earlier this month has helped propel them to the top of Division Two in the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Fosbraey’s team endured a 137-run hammering by Bush on their own turf three weeks ago, but have now overtaken them at the summit following Saturday’s victory at Southgate.

“At the time I thought the Shepherd’s Bush result might not have been the worst thing, to get that out of the way,” Fosbraey admitted. “It gave us a bit of a kick and hopefully it won’t happen again.

“This was our first really good all-round performance – it’s taken seven weeks with a very new team, but I think we’re starting to click now and everyone’s contributing.

“We’ve hit the front and now we’ve got to try to stay there. I think we’ll have a strong second half of the season and hopefully we can put a run together.”

Fosbraey’s side had to bat first in damp conditions after he lost the toss at the Walker Ground, and James Overy quickly departed, stumped off Tuan Hadgie for a single.

Hugh Gimber (41) and Simon Butler (38) fought back with a second-wicket stand of 67, but Southgate seemed to be gaining the upper hand after they got rid of both batsmen in quick succession.

David Woffinden (2-43), who removed Gimber, followed that up with the wicket of Dave Miller (17) to leave Brondesbury uncertainly placed at 114-4.

But Sam Smith then joined namesake Chris at the crease, savaging the Southgate bowling with a string of boundaries as he dominated their partnership of 60.

Chris Smith eventually fell for 30, but Sam swept on past his half-century to finish on 61 not out from 45 balls as Fosbraey declared on 196-5 at the end of the 46th over.

Southgate made a solid start in reply and, although Sam Smith (3-21) dismissed Alvin Durgacharan (14), Tom Edrich (31) and Chris Blake (7) guided them to 45-1.

Fosbraey (2-30) made the breakthrough with the wicket of Blake and medium-pacer Buddy Mason (3-21) trapped Edrich lbw before the pair tore through Southgate’s middle order.

Three wickets fell for just a single run as Southgate collapsed to 64-6 and Mason made that 71-7 by having Rob Johnson caught behind, but Hadgie (22) and Woffinden (12) displayed some resistance.

The pair added 30 before Chris Smith (1-9) dismissed Hadgie and Sam Smith then returned to clean up the tail, with Miller taking catches at short-leg to remove Ashley Sivarajah (1) and finally Woffinden.

“It was good to see Simon getting some runs,” added Fosbraey. “He’s starting to put a few scores together and he and Hugh did a lot of the hard work and paved the way for Sam.

“Sam’s been in my ear about moving up the order, so we gave it a go and it paid off. He batted very sensibly and played some big shots.

“Getting Blake out was an important wicket, and Buddy’s performance was probably the best he’s bowled for the club. We’ve got a few options and everyone’s bowling consistently well.”

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