Hemel return to winning ways to reach the season's midway point in good shape
Hemel Hempstead's first XI reached the half-way stage of the Saturday league season by beating their local rivals in a convincing manner.
Hemel defeated Leverstock Green at home and in the process switched places with Levy in the Saracens Herts Championship table, moving up to fourth from fifth place.
Batting first, Hemel seemed in control via the measured batting of Hemish Ilangaratne (64) tickling them along.
But a sudden collapse saw Hemel go from 142-3 in the 45th over to 163 all out in the 59th. Adam Thomas (5-38) and Levy’s Australian overseas player Sol Tomlinson (4-42) did the damage with only Craig Weston (19) making double figures after Tom Elborn (30) and Jack Doodson (28).
That left a bit of work for the Hemel bowlers to do –and they didn’t disappoint.
In the fourth and sixth overs Steve Reader took out two of Levy’s top-three batsmen, before the spinners got to work. Parth Mehta (4-26) did the main damage, while Johan Moritz (1-14) took opener Mart Hacksaw. Hemel skipper Nick Hodgins came on at the end to take 2-11 to see off the tail. Levy made it to 104 as they lost by 59 runs.
At this halfway stage, Hemel are within one win of top side Luton Town & Indians, who they beat in the first game at Wardown Park. And this Saturday they host the leaders (11.30am) at Heath Park.
There was rather a crunching defeat for Hemel’s second XI when hosting Southgate Adelaide, who were only just above Hemel at the bottom end of Division 3B but have now moved up a few places.
Hemel never got going on the batting front, being only 85-5 at the halfway stage.
Neil Morgan opened with 34 at the top end while Liam Jahn top scored with 42 at number eight. In between, Aaron Wilson hit 28 but there were no other significant contributions as Hemel were all out for 177.
Southgate measured their reply and after 20 overs were at 88-2. Jake Agar (65*) kept the innings together and with Tariq Mahmood (46) put on 110 for the third wicket to see them almost home before Charle Hoskins (1-33) snared Mahmood. But it was to be only a reprieve as the visitors reached the target with only three wickets down.
The other Hemel wicket-takers were Ed Langley (1-20) and Jahn (1-31).
The side are now only one off the bottom of the table and in danger of relegation unless they win games soon.
This Saturday they travel to third-ranked Luton Town & Indians II.
The third XI were away at Abbots Langley II and were put in after losing the toss.
Hemel were all out for 169 in 42.2 overs. Abbots then made 170-4 in 30 overs to take the win. Despite the loss, Hemel are still top of Division 6B but by a single point from Letchworth III.
The fourth XI were at home against Boxmoor II, won the toss and batted.
Hemel made 205 all out, with Sunny Clarke (71) and Jim Langley (38) leading the scorers. Boxmoor then tapped the runs off in 36.3 overs with 208 -5. The side are now fifth in Division 9B and need a few wins to get into a promotion battle.
On Sunday, there was a fourth win out of five games for Hemel’s Sunday first XI in Division 3 of the Lords Chess Valley League to keep them top of the table by four points.
Opponents Levy Green were previously unbeaten so there was added delight in making it a double victory over their local rivals this weekend.
Despite losing Johan Maritz to the second ball of the game, Hemel’s up-and-comers dug themselves in to make 223-7 in 45 overs.
Will Langley top scored with 42, followed by a 40 from Ryan Wilson, 38 from skipper Aaron Wilson and 35 from Sunny Kullar. Levy’s Tomlinson added another three Hemel scalps to the four he took the day before.
Hemel’s Ed Langley proved to be the man, making the ball talk with six wickets for just 29 runs in 9.5 overs.
Levy had no answer to him as they were all out for 145 in 33.5 overs to give Hemel victory by 78 runs.
This Sunday is the Readers Herts T20 Finals Day at Potters Bar. Hemel take on Bishop’s Stortford at 1.30pm in the semi-final, with the winners playing either Welwyn Garden City or Potters Bar in the final at 4.30pm.