Praise for Philipson as Hornsey skipper hits another ton against North Middlesex
15:17 30 June 2014
Max Flego Sports Photography
Hornsey captain Michael Philipson hit his second consecutive league century in Saturday’s derby against North Middlesex, but rain ruined the contest.
Having struck 111 in the previous weekend’s defeat by Brondesbury, Philipson smashed an unbeaten 116 against North Midd as the hosts declared on 206-6 after 53.1 overs.
With 47 overs lost due to the weather, North Midd were only left with 19 to reply – and, since a minimum of 20 overs are required for a result, the match was deemed to be abandoned, with each side getting one point.
The highlight of the game was Philipson’s knock, which included 17 fours and a six.
Former Hornsey captain Chetan Patel was full of praise for this season’s skipper, stating: “Michael’s in amazing form, he’s really leading from the front and he’s doing a great job as captain.
“He was the league’s player of the season last year and he’s going the right way about defending that title.”
North Midd captain Tom Nicoll won only his second toss of the season and inserted Hornsey, who were quickly in trouble at 12-3 as Joel Hughes (3-29) removed Richard Wharton (0), James Bull (2) and Jack Goldberg (0).
However, Philipson and James Fleming steadied the ship with a 93-run fourth-wicket partnership, and, after a long rain delay, took their side past 100.
Another mini-collapse left them 123-6 as Fleming (37) was caught by Hughes off Connor Nurse (1-17), while Patel (5) and George Croton (0) were snared lbw by Will Nicoll (1-22) and Mahruf Chowdury (1-37) respectively.
But Philipson found another able partner in Martin Tucker (35 not out) and the pair put on 83 together to reach 206-6 after 53.1 overs.
The timing of the ensuing declaration was important, as it ensured North Midd would only only get 19 overs with the bat – one less than they needed to achieve a result.
“It’s something we did deliberately,” said Patel. “We’d scored so slowly because we were on and off all the time that they [North Midd] would only have needed to get 80 off 20 overs to get the four points, with 10 wickets in hand, which would have been very easy.
“We would have just been giving it to them, and we weren’t prepared to do that.”
Like North Midd, Hornsey also started well with the ball, with Philipson (1-9) removing Michael Clements (10) and Oli Yew (2-5) dismissing Evan Flowers and Joe Hewton for ducks, leaving the visitors 27-3 – but Nurse (37no) and Tom Nicoll (19no) easily batted out the remaining overs.
It was Hornsey’s third abandoned match – the most out of the Premier Division teams – and Patel added: “We’ve hardly played because of the rain, but things are going ok and Paul Weekes will be back in a couple of weeks so we’ll keep getting stronger.”
Meanwhile, North Midd remain bottom of the table and winless – but Tom Nicoll still has plenty of confidence in his squad.
The skipper reflected: “After the rain delays we were never really in control of the game, but we feel that our side has what it takes to earn a few wins in the coming weeks.
“While other sides seem to rely on one or two star players, we have a strong, young group that just needs to grind out some results and we hope that will start next week against Ealing.”
Hornsey went on to beat Wembley in the Middlesex League Cup on Sunday, setting up a quarter-final showdown against Teddington in a replay of last year’s final.
Stat’s a fact:
If Michael Philipson scores a third consecutive ton at Richmond on Saturday it will equal a County League record.
Three players have achieved that feat – Brondesbury’s Michael Foster in 2004, Winchmore Hill’s Shaun Levy (2006) and Stanmore’s Steve Eskinazi (2013).