Hemel avoided defeat in the clash of the bottom two of the Saracens Herts League Championship - but still lost ground on points.
Batting first, second from bottom Stevenage made their way to 269-5 from their 60 overs. Jack Doodson returned the best bowling figures for Hemel with 3-73.
It was a tough target to chase for the current Hemel side and despite being at 133-1 at the start of the last hour the chase was to prove too much for the side they had.
Hem Ilargaratne opened with 79, Brett Penny made 53 at number 3 and Jack Doodson coming up next ended on 57*. Hemel ended on 225-5 for a draw, with Stevenage picking up 12 points and Hemel 7.
There was a disappointing three wicket loss for Hemel IIs against second place Stortford II when victory could have been their way.
Put in by Stortford, Hemel batsmen who got in went for the runs on a good batting track. Opener Suren Perera hit 59 from 38 balls, Josh Graves made 60 from 58 balls and lower down the order Rhys Fowler made 31 from 26 and Charlie Hoskins made 32* from 21. The total of 246 all out was a competitive score.
An early run out and a couple of wickets for Charlie Hoskins saw Hemel in the driving seat. But Stuart Felstead (100*) returning from injury for Stortford from a long term injury had other ideas and saw Stortford to the victory they were after. Charlie Hoskins picked up 2-60 from his 13 overs and regular 3rd XI bowler Jamsheed Akbar snaffled 3-66 from his 15 overs.
Hemel IIIs knew they hadn’t got enough on the run paradise of the Heath Park Nursery ground when they were bowled out for just 141 by Ampthill Town IIs.
It was a case again of players being drafted up to higher sides to fill gaps created above. ‘Senior’ players in the form of skipper for the day Andy Turbutt and his deputy Scott Radcliffe were able to score some runs, 37 and 24 respectively, but other than 19 from Will Stokes it was hard work.
Again, 13* from Nick Benson and 10 from Adam Lockewere the only other double figure scores. Whilst Hemel spread the bowling amongst seven different bowlers Ampthill wicketkeeper Rob Cummings helped himself to 57* to guide Ampthill to a five wicket victory.
With the call for players up the sides a 10 man Hemel 4th XI went down to defeat at Greenwood Park and slipped down to ninth in Division Eight B, relegation territory.
Hemel IV had kept on top of Greenwood as bowlers Aravind Kumar (4-72) and Tony Linfoot (5-82) held them at bay, initially. But lack of back-up was the problem as solid lower order scores saw them up to 239 all out.
It was the same problem with the Hemel batting. 35 from Barney Stalin and 22* from Phil Smith put Hemel in with a shout but only a brisk 22 from Carl Chapman at the foot saw them over 100 runs, falling to 130 all out.
The gloom of the weekend for Hemel continued with another defeat in the Chess Valley League Division 1 at the hands of Harefield on Sunday.
On the plus side it was a game with 600 runs scored, two centuries, three 50s and scorchingly warm weather. Harefield batted first, after the early departure of their opener to Guy Scott-Morriss the next two batsmen, R Tidey (155) and D King (104) proceeded to put on 284 runs for the second wicket. That led the way to a late flurry as Harefield tried to amass as many runs as possible, to the advantage of Jack Doodson who picked up 4-49 by bowling straight. Harefield ended on 326-8.
Harefield had a trump up their sleeve in the form of L Tyrell, on Middlesex’s books apparently, who whipped out Tom Elbborn and Anjam Khan for ducks with some pretty sharp bowling. Luckily Harefield decided to rest him from then, having taken 2-3 from three overs. The other Hemel opener Glenn Wood saw this happen and was able to make 53 at about a run a ball, better from Hem Ilangaratne 85 from 53 balls with 5 fours and 8 sixes and Jack Doodson with 71, 4 fours and 5 sixes. The chase was always too much for the Hemel lower order, skipper Rory Fraser was able to enjoy himself with an interesting 33* as Hemel ended on 276-9.