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1980s

1985

League results dropped back for three years to 10th in 1985 – Holland’s last year in charge – ninth in 1986 and 14th in 1987 while Morgan took over for two seasons. It was in 1985 that Edney encouraged an ex team-mate at Brondesbury to try his luck in Hertfordshire. His name was Mark Blundell, who went on to take the club to a new level of excellence as a future captain and chairman.

The start of the 1985 season was cold, and a club match against Old Finchleians at Cobden Hill in April was abandoned in a snow blizzard. New arrivals included Haberdashers schoolmaster Andy Jarman, a useful all-rounder, and Tony Johnson, a future chairman and president.

A rare incident occurred in June, perhaps unique, when a St Margaretsbury batsman was timed out on appeal by the fielding side in a Herts Cup first round tie. Bad sportsmanship by the captain Roger Morgan and his Radlett team? Not really in view of the facts. The home side started the game without their best batsman, due to arrive late from work, but the innings collapsed and St Margaretsbury found themselves 55 for seven after barely an hour, still with 10 men. The batsmen resorted to desperate time-wasting, such as extended mid-pitch chats and, infuriatingly for Radlett, frequent adjustment of the sightscreens. A car roared into the car park and a figure was seen dashing through the dust into the home changing room, but almost immediately a run-out took the score to 73-9. Morgan had had enough and asked the umpires to put the clock on the new batsmen. The latecomer, half dressed, almost made it to the boundary’s edge, but not quite. Radlett went on to win by nine wickets.

Only two league matches were lost that 1985 season, though Radlett had to wait until June for their first win when they beat bottom club Barnet at Cobden Hill, thanks to a blitz of 107 in just over half an hour by Blundell (86) and Randall (54 not out). The first defeat was at Luton after Draper had complained the pitch looked too long before the start, a suspicion confirmed by a tape measure. A crease and set of stumps had to be re-positioned, but Luton won by five wickets, despite two wickets from Watford GS schoolboy Michael Hanson on his debut. The Hanson brothers David and Michael, later won a low-scoring tussle against West Herts with the bat at Cobden Hill. At Hoddesdon tail-ender George Copley, hobbling with a back spasm, smashed 65 off 33 balls to snatch an unlikely two-wicket league win.

The second team, under Geoff Bird, finished seventh, with off-spinner John Bullman enjoying a vintage season. In all matches he took 92 wickets, the best return at this level yet recorded.

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