Last year's finalists in Heath Park Cup are beaten in first round
The first-round matches for the historic Heath Park Cup have now mostly been completed.
The only tie left to be played is the Chipperfield/Clarenden and Met Police clash, which was due to take place last night as the Gazette was going to press.
The cup competition, sponsored again this year by ADEX Interiors, has a rich history dating back nearly 60 years. The T20 knock-out contest was first played in 1960, long before the current vogue of short-format cricket.
Following the first-round of matches, we now know that there will be some new names in this year’s final after last year’s top two – Abbots Langley and Kings Langley –were both defeated.
Hemel Hempstead Town rather marmalised Abbots Langley with Lewis Hodgins smashing a score of 78 runs, including a 50 off 46 balls, while Brett Penny made an undefeated 65 (50 in 38 balls).
Nick Gurney made 43 for Abbots but Jack Doodson took 3-17 from three overs for Hemel and Brett Penny 2-14 from four overs.
There were two other tight first-round clashes with Watford beating Northchurch off the last ball of their 20 overs, while Langleybury did the same in beating Kings Langley.
Langleybury managed to lose two wickets in the final over but then hit a four and a single to win.
The quarter-finals must be completed by June 15.
Hemel are set to play their next match this Friday at Leverstock Green, which will include beer and skittles.