Cornwall travel knowing win will see them progress
By Western Morning News | Saturday, May 12, 2012, 08:00
It is quite a coincidence that Cornwall's cricketers will be making almost an identical journey to Hertfordshire as the county's rugby squad this weekend.
While the black and gold are doing battle at Ware today, less than 24 hours later Tom Sharp's men will be on duty ten miles south-west at North Mymms Cricket Club in the Minor Counties Knock-out Trophy.
Both sets of players travel with optimism after wins last weekend but anyone looking for a clue on tomorrow's outcome based on past performances will be out of luck.
Cornwall and Hertfordshire have only ever met twice, and that was the small matter of 85 years ago when home and away games were played in the 1927 Minor Counties Championship.
In another era, Charles Shaw Baker hit a century at Bishop's Stortford and Wearne Cory repeated the feat in the win at Penzance.
Boosted by last week's victory over Bedfordshire, Cornwall will not be taking the opposition lightly. Hertfordshire were beaten finalists for the third time at Lord's last year losing to Berkshire. They also beat Devon at the quarter-final stage for the second successive year.
The recent wet weather has had a major bearing on the group with only two of the seven games achieving results. Cornwall were comfortably winning by six wickets at Truro last Sunday but was a much tighter affair for Hertfordshire.
In a game that was switched to Bicester and North Oxford, they overcame Oxfordshire by three runs after making 216.
A Cornish win tomorrow will see the visitors top the group and qualify for a home quarter-final in mid June.
A "no result" would also ensure qualification as the worst they could finish would be second, having a better net run rate than Hertfordshire. Devon or Oxfordshire could then possibly sneak into first spot on run rate. Even a defeat could see progress but that would be dependent on other results falling Cornwall's way.
Hertfordshire's player with first-class experience is wicket-keeper Steve Snell. He played for the Minor County last year before turning out late in the season for Somerset. Remarkably that led to a Champions League T20 trip to India where he played in three games.
Cornwall have announced the same XI as won at Boscawen Park last week as professional Keith Parsons captains the Unicorns again tomorrow.
Hertfordshire: A S Lewis (Capt), E C Ballard, G R Brown, S D Snell, D J Blacktopp, B J Frazer, N V Jeyaratnam, W V M Jones, R E Wynne, S Lindop.
Cornwall: T G Sharp (Capt), M L Robins, D J Roberts, M H Rowe, D F Davis, C A Hunkin, T Williams (wk), A G Smeeth, K J Snell, A C Libby, S C Hockin.