With the season right around the corner, Berkhamsted and Hemel played their final friendly match on Saturday before the real fixtures begin with Berko coming out on top.
There was joy for Berko as they won the battle of the first XIs friendly at Kitchener Field at the weekend with a 31-run victory.
Batting first, Berko finished on 209-7.
Opener Gareth Preedy did some damage with his score of 68 and number four Lewis Mitchard also exceeded the half-century mark with a further 57 runs.
Luke Frey, at number three, was the only other batter to register anything significant, with 31 runs after an hour at the crease.
Hemel’s skipper Nick Hodgins came on later in the bowling attack and finished with impressive figures of 5-29, including the scalp of Preedy, who was caught by Jack Doodson off a Hodgins delivery.
Hemel’s run chase started optimistically, and they reached 64 without loss.
But they then lost a flurry of wickets to drop to 78-4.
The middle order failed to revive the innings and they ended up all out for 178 to lose by 31 runs.
Tom Elborn opened for Hemel and hit 52 runs from just 64 balls.
Richard Morton managed to add a further 31 runs of 42 balls from the number four position in the line-up and Matt Dale scored 43 from 35 deliveries at number eight.
Robert Prunty, with 5-33, proved to be the bowler of the day for Berko, who eviscertaed the Hemel middle order.
While the 1st XI for Hemel were going down to Berko, the 2nd XI kept the flag flying with victory over Berko’s 2nd XI at Heath Park.
Batting first, Berko were indebted to under-16s colt Dan Brierly who came in at number four to score 77 not out.
No other batsman reached higher than 20 with Adeel Khan (3-24) and Charlie Hoskins (3-11) finishing off the Berko innings.
Suren Perera then started off the Hemel chase with 54, including two sixes and seven fours.
Jim Langley added 19 as they put on 68 for the first wicket.
A 33 from Tom Waterton at number three in the order kept the scoreboard ticking over and, after a slight blimp, Lewis Boughton (13 not out) and Charlie Hoskins (25 not out) guided Hemel 2nds to victory.
The opening match of the season for Hemel’s 1st XI is this Saturday (1pm) at home against Kings Langley in the Saracens Hertfordshire Cricket league Division One while the 2nd XI travel to Langleybury 2nds in Division 3B.
The 3rd team are on the road at Kings Langley 2nds in Division 5B and the 4ths are hosting Shenely Village 3rds in Division 9A.