Persistent rain had a profound effect on the weekend’s cricket with many games falling foul of the bad conditions.
A meagre seven games were completed in the entirety of the Hertfordshire League.
One of those was Hemel Hempstead Town CC 4th XI taking on the aptly-named Harpo Dolphins.
Hemel travelled to Amenbury Lane and fielded first.
A strange decision by the Harpo Dolphins’ skipper saw the hosts declare with only 31 overs completed after the Dolphins had accumulated a score of 165-6.
Perhaps Harpo’s seven-wicket victory on May 20 in the reverse fixture at Heath Park gave them this ultimately misjudged confidence?
Nic Benson was among the wickets again for Hemel, claiming figures of 3-22.
Harisse Khan picked up a couple for himself (2-46) while Vinnie Liddar grabbed the other.
In the reply, Mike Samuels led from the front for Hemel IV as he scored an unbeaten 86 in this four-wicket victory.
Darryl Barnett helped Samuels along the way with 48 and Sunny Clark (12 not out) was with Samuels at the crease when the winning runs were achieved.
The crucial Hemel triumph moved the IV XI out of the relegation places in the Saracens Hertfordshire League Division 9A standings.
In another of the games that was actually able to go ahead, Hemel were able to gain another impressive victory in the Lords Chess Valley League against West Herts at Heath Park on Sunday to make it four wins out of as many games for Hemel in this division.
In a match that was rearranged from June 18 due to the hosts’ Herts Trophy commitments last month, Hemel batted first and were able to push their score to 222-6 from their 45 overs.
Tom Waterton led the way with a tally of 58.
Aaron Wilson chipped in with 44 and Sunday skipper Jack Doodson added a further 36.
Matt Dale (21) and Lewis Hodgins (21 not out) also contributed with creditable totals.
Alastair Lewis (51) and Joe Warren (42) led the reply for West Herts but after they were removed by Doodson and Lewis Hodgins there was little batting support behind them.
Waheed Chaudry (30) and Raoul Harding (22) managed double-figure scores later on for the visitors but that was it as the side was skittled for 174.
Doodson picked up a five-for with figures of 5-29 and there were also a couple of wickets for Adam Moulster (2-18) and Lewis Hodgins (2-47).
This 48-run victory ensured their 100 per cent winning record in Division 4 of the competition remained in tact.
They are sitting up near the top of the division alongside leaders Stanmore but Hemel have two games in-hand over their championship rivals.
The crunch match with Stanmore is at their place on Sunday, September 2.
This Sunday’s Chess Valley League match sees Hemel host bottom-of-the-league side Bessborough who are actually in minus points territory after conceding games early on in the season.
In this league, run-rate is taken into account to decide any tie-breakers if teams are on the same number of wins so it should make for an interesting run-in as the league reaches its conclusion.
With a bit of masterful organisational skills, Hemel also managed to get another side out on Sunday for the Sunday first XI’s away match against Berkhamsted at Kitcheners Field.
Batting first, Hemel were initially in a bit of trouble and were losing overs.
But then came skipper-for-the-day Sunny Clark (47), Darryl Barnett (41) and Charlie Hoskins (58) who turned things around for Hemel as they eventually reached 177-7 from their 40 overs.
Only Phil Brown (42) was able to put together a meaningful score for Berko in their reply apart from 17 and 15 from their opening tandem.
There were four wickets for Austins, and two each for Balinder Walia and Darryl Barnett as Hemel dismissed Berkhamsted for 139 all out for a 38-run win.
n Hemels’ fixtures for the coming days:
Hemel Royals (under-19s) v Redbourn Unicorns (a) 6pm in the Herts Nat West T20 2017 competition.
Saturday (all league games):
1st XI v Broxbourne (h) 1pm.
2nd XI v Wheathampstead (a) 1pm.
3rd XI v Flamstead (a) 1pm.
4th XI v Potten End (h) 1pm.
1st XI v Bessborough (h) 1pm.