The struggles continue for Hemel Town I as they suffered their third straight defeat at the start of the Premier Division season.
Winning the toss and inviting Stortford to bat opened the way for young overseas opener Matt Rodgers who proceeded to hit 123 runs from 140 balls as he carved through the Hemel bowlers.
Brett Penny did get 5-58 from his 10 overs, but Dom Chatfield hit 58 from 70 balls for Stortford as they amassed 278-7 from their 50 overs.
In reply Hemel soon lost Penny for 5 in their third over, but the next three batsmen – Hem Ilangaratne (40), Jay O’Nien (75) and Sam Jenkinson (42) – took the fight back to Stortford.
However, Simon Lindop (4 - 41) and Mark Townsend (5 - 34) kept plugging away, and from 178-4 in the 40th over Hemel were then dismissed for 228 all out in the 49th.
Hemel Town II narrowly lost by two wickets in a tight game against Potton Town, largely because they did not score enough runs to begin with.
Put in by Potton, Hemel were struggling at 24-5 after 17 overs, with only Nick Hodgins (45 n/o) remaining.
It was down to tail end batsmen Bryan Davies (17) and Liam Jahn (11), to not only get double figure scores but to drag Hemel over the 100-run mark.
After 14 overs of the Potton reply, Hemel had them at 39-4 but Potton kept chipping away. The next pair put on 34 runs to see them up to 73- 5 and, despite figures of 10-1-15-1 from Nick Hodgins, 3-31 from Charlie Hoskins and 2-12 from Ed Langley, Potton managed to get over the victory line to win with 110-8 in the 44th over.
With weather reducing the game to 44 overs per side, Hemel Town III made an emphatic statement after two disappointing weeks of defeats with a 60-run victory against Hatfield Crusaders.
Ram Hussain top scored with 34 for Hemel, Andy Turbutt added 20 and returning skipper Anjam Khan hit 13. A total of 139-8 may not have looked a great score, but it ended up being enough by a long way.
The Hemel bowlers all took wickets for few runs; 3-12 for Suren Perera, 3-22 for Anjam Khan and 2-9 for Chris Pearson were the best returns as the Crusaders were all out for 79.
Losing three wickets for four runs in the first eight overs of the match gave Hemel Town IV a mountain they struggled to climb for the rest of the game against Bayford & Hertford II.
Although Mike Samuels (35) saw it all happen as he stayed there, Dean Breed (22) and Nick Benson (46) took time to make sure Hemel got moving.
Later scores of 25 from Dawood Iqbal and 33 from Saleem Farooqi helped Hemel to get to 202 all out, but they were out with five overs unused.
Bayford & Hertford started off like a train in reply, scoring 147 in their first 20 overs. Openers M Morris (42) and J Wailes (80) set them on the way and the remaining batsmen eased it through to win with 17 overs to go.
The best Hemel bowling figures were 2-15 from Breed and 2-65 from Vinnie Liddar.
Hemel Town I took on Letchworth GC I in Group C of the Readers County 20/20 Cup and suffered their second successive defeat.
Letchworth got off to a blistering start with 59 in 46 balls for Matt Bridge and a scorching 113 n/o off 61 balls for Tom Simmons as they smashed 118 in the first 13 overs.
No Hemel bowler was safe as Parth Mehta (1-25) and Anjam Khan (1-16) picked up the only wickets.
In reply Hemel were 94-3 at the same 13-over stage, but nobody had set the stage alight as the two Letchworth openers had done.
Scores of 39 for Hem Ilangaratne, 24 for Ali Leighton and 16 for Tom Elborn were the best Hemel could manage as they ended up losing by 59 runs.
> Little Gaddesden
The the Little Gaddesden/Potten End team are through to the second round of the Heath Park Cup after beating Boxmoor in the opening round of the competition.
Little Gaddesden skipper André Jordache won the toss and decided to bat first, with a brisk start seeing the team reach 71-2 after 10 overs as Steve Jones hit a rapid 38.
Pete Allam then bludgeoned 54 from just 20 balls, including four sixes into the Village Hall car park, and Little Gaddesden finished on 168-7.
Boxmoor tried to stay with the required run rate of more than eight an over – mainly thanks to opener Townsend who scored 58 – but once he was out caught at deep mid-wicket they collapsed to 109 all out with Steve Wise taking two wickets in just two overs.
That secured a 59-run victory and Little Gaddesden’s first cup win other than by walkover for three seasons.
Next up for the team is a trip to the winners of Ivinghoe v Berkhamsted in the second round.
> Abbots Langley
Abbots Langley I produced an excellent batting display to get the better of Eversholt on Saturday.
Eversholt’s early batsmen were all capable players and a big score looked likely until Matt Dunstone’s slow left arm magic changed the complexion of the game.
He took full advantage of the skiddy surface to take 5-19 from his allotted overs and, in doing so, he passed 600 first team wickets for the club – only the ninth player to achieve this feat.
In reply, Abbots openers Scott Newman and Chris Chellew were soon in their stride. Newman was particularly severe on anything wayward and smashed his third ton of the season.
Chellew also passed 50, and an opening stand of 161 set up a victory against a decent team.
Abbots Langley II saw their winning start to the season come to an end thanks to a dismal batting performance against Eversholt II.
Mark Bishop top scored with an unbeaten 38, but a score of 126 was not sufficient at the small picturesque ground.
However, Abbots bowled much better and beat the bat on countless occasions – particularly George Agius and Lewis Hodgins – without getting the vital edge.
Eventually Abbots broke through but the damage had already been done and Eversholt ran out worthy winners by seven wickets.
Abbots Langley IV and West Herts shared a superb game, with over 500 runs scored in 90 overs which came down to the last ball.
West Herts needed four but only managed two, leaving Abbots victorious by one run.
An excellent stand of 131 between Tom Ruxton junior (83 n/o) and Joe Woodard (47) was the mainstay of the innings.
Defending totals is never easy at Bedmond and Abbots owed much to a mean spell of bowling from Mick Rueth, who conceded just 21 runs from his 9 overs.
> Leverstock Green
Although Imran Iqbal’s 4-20 closed out a resounding victory, it was a fine team performance – with both ball and bat – that saw Leverstock Green I to an impressive win at Holtwhites Trinibis.
It’s now three in a row to kick off summer 2015 for Dayle Littlejohn’s team who posted 190-9 from a rain-reduced 45 overs in Enfield – Kyle Claxton’s patient 32 the biggest score of an innings during which plenty contributed.
In reply, seamers Majid Khan (2-6) and Adam Thomas (1-19) kept the Holtwhites batsmen guessing. Regular dismissals – including two for Littlejohn and Iqbal’s four-wicket haul – saw the hosts removed for just 67.
Leverstock Green III fell just 19 runs short of Shenley Village III’s 222 in a run chase which relied heavily on 57 from Stuart Evans.
Matt Lake, Karl Turner and Dan Lake all reached the 20s but the fall of wickets allowed hosts Shenley to keep Levy’s chances of victory at arm’s length.
Earlier in the day, Turner excelled with the ball to concede just 22 runs from 10 overs but went unrewarded with dismissals.
Lake snr picked up a couple of victims – one of which that LGGC favourite of ct Puddle b Pond – but Village’s 222-5 proved too many for Green’s 203 all out.
A below-par display in all three disciplines of the game meant Leverstock Green II slumped to a second straight defeat – Flitwick II knocking off Green’s modest 142 all out with losing a wicket.
Tellingly, extras contributed most runs (22) for LGCC after they were inserted by the visitors.
Nick Merrett (21) and 19 not out from Abbas Ali were the only noteworthy contributions in an innings which finished 13.4 overs inside the 50-over allotment.
Three early dropped catches – all off the luckless Ajit Kumar – dealt Green an early blow to confidence in the field and they didn’t recover.
Openers Gurney and Bodo made the most of their luck, and some tepid bowling, to cruise home with an unbroken partnership.
Greg Coulshed’s Leverstock Green IV made the most of another Saturday without a league fixture, travelling to Old Albanian IV for a 40-over friendly.
A dislocated knee suffered by debutant Jhangez Khan rather overshadowed Levy’s chase, although fellow opener Charlie Cooke can be pleased with his 39 and three wickets (3-32) during a game which saw Levy reply to OAs 204-8 with 106 all out.
Skipper Coulshed’s three dismissals and Khan’s fellow debutant Kasim Akram’s useful 10 not out were the most notable of the other Green individual displays.
Berkhamsted I saw their clash with Waltham Cross Rosedale reduced to a 40-over match after the heavens opened en route to the game.
Waltham Cross won the toss and decided to bat on a wet wicket. Despite an early flurry of wides and byes, Berkhamsted soon had the home side in trouble.
In fact, only one Waltham Cross batsman got into double figures and, with wides comfortably being the second top scorer, Berko restricted the home side to a low 93-9.
The pick of the bowlers were Toby Gribbin and Jack Hunter with identical figures of 2-12 off of their eight overs
Despite losing a couple of quick wickets, Berko easily coasted to victory, winning by six wickets. Berko are away again this Saturday at Southgate Compton.
In a quirk in the fixture schedules, Berkhamsted II entertained Waltham Cross Rosedale II on Saturday and finally won their first match of the season.
They triumphed in a tight game by two wickets, restricting Waltham Cross to 145 as Mark Lewarne took 3-12 and Lee Mason snared 3-29.
In reply, Berko’s top order all got starts but no-one could kick on and nerves were jangling as Oliver Holdoyd hit a six to win the match.
In a run-fest Berkhamsted III lost at home to Bushey III by seven wickets, despite scoring 240-8 in their 45 overs.
Phil Brown scored 119, but Berkhamsted found they could not power on in the final overs, which was to haunt them in the end.
Bushey batted well in reply and timed their run chase to perfection, reaching the winning total with just eight balls remaining.
> Kings Langley
Kings Langley I were left ruing missed chances in the field after an otherwise solid performance against Dunstable.
Opening bowlers Rob Clark and Richard Whitlock put Dunstable under considerable early pressure, with Whitlock making an early breakthrough with the hosts on 5.
Kings’ bowlers continued to produce chances, only for poor fielding to consistently let them down. Dunstable’s batsmen took full advantage, posting a substantial target of 260.
Langley’s batting, which proved to be so frail last week, made an impressive effort at the chase with all of the top and middle order making valuable contributions alongside the steadying influence of Paul Ashford (57).
Unfortunately for Kings, as the overs ticked by they found themselves just 14 runs short on 246-8.
Kings Langley II made it three wins from three after a convincing 212-run victory against Hatfield Crusaders.
Having been asked to bat, a quick-fire 86 from Kev Rolfe, backed up by 41 from Matt Langston and supporting knocks from Jon Smith (27 n/o), Tom Clark (25) and Tim Piper (23), resulted in Kings posting 262-8.
The Crusaders were never in the game in their reply and were skittled for 50 in just 16 overs.
Captain Tom Clark was the pick of the bowlers, taking 5-26. He was supported by debutant Luke Jones who snared 3-20, and Josh Oldham (1-2).
Kings Langley III claimed their first win of the season with a hard fought 69-run win over Stevenage IV.
Kings opted to bat first and the senior players all contributed en route to 220-6. Naeem (57) and Knights (47) led the charge and Gordon Sambidge helped finish the job with 64 not out. Barton claimed 3-42 off 10 for Stevenage.
In reply, Stevenage made a solid start and a tight finish seemed likely as drinks approached.
However, a tumble of wickets meant the charge slowed down. Stevenage finished on 151 all out, with a string of excellent catches from the juniors proving vital.
Two 14-year-olds shone with ball; Maher taking 2-8 and Wright impressing on his senior debut with 1-32. Sambidge also claimed 4-26 to cap an impressive individual day.
For the third consecutive week Kings Langley IV bowled out their opposition, this time Watford Town V for 95.
Good quick bowling from Luke O’Dell claimed 3-17 from nine overs, well backed up by Hadi Ridzi (2-23) and 14-year-old Samuel Hutchings (2-9).
Veteran Tony Thompson bagged 3-7, however very poor batting again saw Kings dismissed for just 39 with no player reaching double figures.
Boxmoor I picked themselves up from a defeat at Abbots Langley to turn over Holtwhites Trinibis II at home on Saturday.
A fine fielding display from Boxmoor saw the opposition bowled out for 133, with Ravi Gyriapa picking up three wickets.
The run chase started strongly, but after a collapse it was left to skipper Danny Graves and Adam Hills to knock off the last 30 runs to seal a two-wicket victory.
Boxmoor II continued their fine start to the season with a convincing 110-run win over Flamstead II.
Boxmoor reached 199-5 from their 50 overs, with Dan Furkins top scoring with 41 and others chipping in.
In response Flamstead were bowled out for 89; figures of 5-19 completed an excellent day’s work for Furkins and he was well supported by the rest of the Boxmoor bowling attack.
Boxmoor III came out on the wrong side of a thrilling game, losing by one wicket to Parkfield and Headstone II.
Batting first, Boxmoor recovered from 82-6 to 189-8, with Sam Pimm bringing up his first 50 in adult cricket, supported by another junior in George Cavannah (30).
More youngsters led the bowling attack, with Harper and Collins both in the wickets, but the visitors got over the line with eight balls and one wicket left.
Boxmoor IV picked up their first ever victory, winning by one run away at West Herts V.
On a difficult pitch, U14 Josh Cartwright picked up a career best 30 runs, to take the visitors to 113 all out.
With a low score to defend, Boxmoor had to take quick wickets. Another colt, Alex Harris, did just that – taking 5-25, including the final wicket, that saw Boxmoor edge over the line.
Boxmoor Sunday I picked up another win ahead of the league season, in a friendly away at Ley Hill.
After being put in to bat, Ian Gorringe and Sam Stride put on 137 for the first wicket, with Gorringe going for 86. Stand-in skipper Stride made it back-to-back Sunday tons, finishing on 104 to give a total of 258.
Boxmoor strangled the home team’s reply, with the hosts falling short by 11 runs.
Bovingdon CC enjoyed another very successful weekend with victories in Saturday’s league game at home to Broxbourne as well as Sunday’s friendly against LCR.
Despite setting a huge total batting first last week, Bovingdon skipper James Hazelton elected to field after winning the toss on Saturday.
Nick Baxter (2-25) and Tony Shand (0-25) both bowled superbly with the new ball and beat the bat on countless occasions.
The pressure was maintained by Luke Stickland (1-23) and the pick of the bowlers Jack Blackburn (4-11).
Paul Fidler (1-26) claimed the prize wicket of the opposition opener with a wonderful delivery and the visitors were eventually all out following a wicket for Michael Buttleman (1-40) and a run out in the final over.
Bovingdon couldn’t have asked for a better start as openers Buttleman (45) and Blackburn (44) put on 78 for the first wicket in 15 overs.
Wickets fell quickly and at regular intervals from there on, and it was left to Shand and Hazelton to secure the win with two wickets in hand and 15 overs remaining.
Bovingdon remain top of Division 7B, as one of only two sides with a 100 per cent record still intact, but there is certainly still plenty of room for improvement.
On Sunday Bovingdon bowled out LCR for 190 to set up a win, with three wickets apiece for Nick Baxter and Matt Dight, two for Richard Taylor and one for Gavin Ivey.
Victory was achieved by a margin of two wickets with key contributions from Baxter (79) and Mark Carine (39)