London Maccabi Vale 1st XI went down by 4 runs in a high-scoring Chess Valley League match against Abbots Langley 2nd XI at Rowley Lane.
A fantastic game of cricket, played on the hottest day of the year, was decided on the last ball of the day. After 90 overs had been bowled and almost 500 runs scored, Vale needed four off the last ball to claim a famous victory, but it wasn't to be.
Due to the final Maccabiah warm-up games being played on the same day, before both cricket squads leave for Israel, Vale put out a side with only four first team regulars. Despite that, the team battled hard and were dissapointed to lose the match.
A superb hard hitting maiden century from young Yourney, Abbots opening batsmen, meant Vale chased a lot of leather. At one point it looked as though Vale could have been chasing a very large total, but Yourney was eventually well bowled by Andrew Greenwell-Cohen, who went on to claim four wickets.
Once he was out, the Vale team did well to keep the runs down and held their catches. Pick of the bowlers were Andrew Greenwell-Cohen 4-53, Jonathan Freedman 2-49 and there were wickets for Josh Brickman and Joseph Greenwell-Cohen. Aron Gale fielded superbly and was an example to many with his anticipation and athleticism. In the end Vale needed to score at around five and a half an over to win.
Skipper Nigel Rothband departed early, playing all round a straight full toss. That brought together Alex Haffner and Joseph Greenwell-Cohen, the pair batted superbly and put on 117 for the second wicket. They ran well between the wickets and put the Abbots team under presure with intelligent calling and running.
Just as the pair were building momentum, Hafner was run out by a direct hit for an excellent 43. Greenwell-Cohen went on to record his maiden ton for Vale and helped set up a Grandstand finish.
The middle order all played their part in keeping the scoreboard ticking along. Jonathan Cantor made a quick fire 16, as did Andrew Greenwell-Cohen. Avi Schwartz hit a towering six and Freedman hit his first ball for four. Gideon Gale continued his fine form with the bat and was instrumental in setting up the amazing last ball drama with a fine 22 not out.
With all nine Abbots fielders on the boundry it was left to Avi Hoddes to face the final ball. It wasn't to be.