Can Leverstock defend the Heath Park Cup title?

Leverstock Green's winning Heath Park Cup team from 2016.
Leverstock Green's winning Heath Park Cup team from 2016.

The draw has been confirmed for this year’s Heath Park Knockout Cup contest.

First-round ties for the 20-over tournament will take place on Friday, May 26.

The cup, sponsored by ADEX Interiors, has a rich history dating back to 1960, long before the current vogue for T20 cricket was even in its gestation period.

The match-ups are as follows: Watford Town v Met Police Bushey; Kings Langley v

Bovingdon; Leverstock Green

v Northchurch; Hemel Hempsted Town v Boxmoor; Little Gaddesden/Potten End v Ivinghoe & Pitstone; Langleybury v Berkhamsted; Chipperfield/Clarendon v Dingwall; Abbots Langley v Tring Park.

A few local derbies stand out such as Watford Town v Met Police Bushey and HHTCC against Boxmoor.

Last year’s champions Leverstock Green will get their title defence under way against Northchurch.

Quarter-finals will then be played on June 16, semi-finals on June 30 and the final at Hemel’s Heath Park on Friday, July 14.

n The first fledgling games of the 2017 cricket season are now under way with pre-season 40-over friendlies taking place last week between Hemel Hempsted Town Cricket Club’s 1st and 2nd XIs and Tring Park’s counterparts.

Both games were won by Tring.

In the battle of the first XIs, held at Tring’s London Road ground, the hosts took advantage of batting first and amassed a score of more than 300 runs.

Opener Dixon and number three Rimmington both hit centuries before retiring.

Only two wickets fell for Hemel, both taken by Ed Langley who finished with 2-54 from his eight overs and bowled the visitors’ only maiden.

Hemel’s 1st XI struggled in reply, making only 162-9.

Jack Doodson top scored with 72 for Hemel and the nearest next score was Langley, with 26.

It was a similar scenario for Hemel’s 2nd team at Heath Park.

Tring’s 2nd XI batted first and scored 258-6 with Trent scoring 115 not-out and Wastling retiring on 50.

Hemel used nine bowlers to blow the cobwebs out of everyone’s bowling arms with five of them getting a wicket each.

In reply, Hemel 2nds notched 176-8 with only two scores of note – an 85 from S Ali and 24 from Steve Smith.

There is an inter-club match at Hemel this Saturday and then another pair of friendlies against Berkhamsted the following Saturday, April 29, before the curtain-raiser to the Hertfordshire League season on Saturday, May 6.