Saturday saw two wins and two losses for Hemel’s cricket sides, with the first XI having to stomach their second home defeat in succession.
Visitors Ampthill Town, now in third place in the Saracens Herts Championship table, outplayed Hemel’s top side throughout the game at Heath Park .
Winning the toss and batting first, Ampthill were only at 155-5 after 40 of their allotted 60 overs.
But dynamic hitting from number nine Jack Fuller (47 from 38 balls) hurtled their score upwards, putting on 49 for the ninth wicket in just five overs.
This latter-order hitting meant Ampthill could get to 286 in their 60 overs.
Parth Mehta (3-59) and Shidhu Kanade (3 - 60) were the top wicket-takers for Hemel.
With a minimum of 55 overs to get the score, Hemel were looking at a run-rate of more than five an over to reach their target.
Despite the early loss of opener Lewis Hodgins for two, Hemel were 102-2 and on target after 20 overs.
It began to fall away when the left-arm spin of George Darlow (16-5-40-3) and right-arm spin of Liam Everitt (5-71) took hold and restricted Hemel’s scoring rate as well as taking wickets.
Number three Brett Penny top scored for Hemel with 57, but they ended up all out for 204 to lose by 82 runs.
This third defeat of the campaign meant that Hemel slipped to fifth place in the table.
This Saturday they travel to face fourth-ranked Leverstock Green (11.30am).
There was another defeat for Hemel’s second XI as they remain one place off the foot of the Division 3B table.
Batting first, Hemel made it to 250-6 with Kevin West remaining not out on 58, Craig Weston adding 56 and Tom Waterton just missing out on his half-century, scoring 49.
Flitwick II played along with Dom Moxon top scoring with 67 not out.
Lower middle-order batting from wicket keeper Ben Barzilay (26) and Matt Pateman (35 not out) helped Flitwick to keep things moving as they hit the necessary runs with one over to spare.
Charlie Hoskins (2-41) was the pick of the Hemel bowlers.
Hemel’s third XI kept their place at the top of Division 6B after earning a win at home over North Enfield II.
Skipper Graham Clark (46) and opener Ryan Bell (42) gave Hemel the runs to bolster their score. Andy Turbutt (25) from number seven pushed them over the 200 mark to 219 all out.
Only two Enfield batsmen managed double figures in their reply as Will Hodgins (3-22), Suren Perera (3-38) and at the end Adam Moulster (3-17) ran through them to give Hemel a 68-run victory.
There was a crunching victory for Hemel IV which, surprisingly, only kept them in fifth place in Division 9B.
It widened the gap between the first five and the bottom quintet but a few more victories are still needed for the side to start climbing up the table.
Hemel bowled Waltham X Rosedale II out in just 33 overs, with Ross Chapman returning 3-9 in eight overs. There were also a few wickets each for Martyn Bell (2-15) and John Peppitt (2-27).
Captain Mike Samuels was then bowled out after just the fourth ball for a duck but Ram Hussain (43 not out) and Scott Radcliffe (35 not out) hit off the required 88 in just 13.2 overs.
On Sunday, the club hosted local unofficial rambling side St John Fisher at Heath Park for a friendly.
Having lost to the same side two years ago on a Sunday, Hemel’s squad have been determined not to let that happen again.
Even with a few Hemel players making up the St John numbers, they were able to achieve their aim and win quite comfortably.
Watson was the main man for St John, scoring 70, but Hemel had the bowlers with Will Hodgins taking 3-15, Dan Keene 2-18, Nic Benson 2-22 and young Ruhan Mia 2-42 as St John were bowled out for 164.
Although losing an early wicket and both openers with just 48 on the scoreboard, Daryll Barnett was able to hit his first Hemel century, aided by an unbeaten 32 from Scott Radcliffe as they reached the target with an undefeated partnership of 118.