From Hemel’s fateful point of view, it was always going to happen.
Needing to win the last two games of the league season to ensure promotion back into the Championship, they went and lost the first one to leave their chances in tatters.
Relegation-threatened Stevenage won the toss on Saturday and batted, scoring 206-9 with Dave Carr opening and top-scoring on 62.
Matt Dale secured figures of 3-26 from his ten overs while Jack Doodson snagged 3-23 from just five in the Hemel bowling attack.
Unfortunately, the Hemel side were not up to the run chase and they were all out for 124 to lose by 82 runs.
Dale top scored with the bat on 25, Will Langley at number eight scored 18 and opener Richard Morton added another 12. There was not much else in support.
Hemel dropped down to fourth in the table after this defeat.
Their final league game of season is this Saturday when they host Old Albanian and try to restore some standing in the Division 1 table.
Elsewhere in that league, Leverstock Green are at home to Kings Langley and a win for Levy would mean they are promoted. Kings are still in danger of relegation and Stevenage need to win at Broxbourne to be in with a chance of staying up.
Hemel just have to win –and then hope.
The 2nd XI took advantage of their security in Division 3B and their last home game of the 2017 season with a crunching victory over midtable rivals Potters Bar II, who they had also beaten at their place earlier in the season.
Charlie Hoskins was the star this time around, picking up 6-20 from his 7.4 overs.
Adam Moulster (3-17) had removed the top batting order and Charlie finished it off.
Ryan Bell (42) and Taq Hussain (26 not out) then put on 77 for the first Hemel wicket in 18 overs as Hemel saw off the runs in style.
Their 2017 season swan song is at Sawbridgeworth II this Saturday.
The last home league fixture of the season for already-relegated Hemel III resulted in another loss against Clifton. Hemel have just one victory all season. Bank holiday calls seemed to have taken their toil on the side as a few new (old) faces made an appearance.
Top scorer for Hemel was Matt Petchell (48), Andy Turbutt contributed 33 and Graham Clark 21 before they were bowled out for 189. Midtable Clifton then hit off the runs for the loss of just three wickets.
The spin of Alfie Bordoley took two of them for figures of 2-47 in his 10 overs.
Hemel IV conceded at Reed III due to a lack of players.
n Abbots Langley:
Abbots hosted Bishop’s Stortford in the penultimate league game of the season at the weekend, won the toss and electing to bat.
They started badly with opener Dhiran Solanki becoming the first of three wickets for Austin Sewell. Solanki was caught in the first over for a duck, followed by two other quick wickets – Jack Read (6) and Tiaan Joubert (first ball)with the score on just 11.
Simon Hamilton and captain Barry Warner then put on 78 before Hamilton went leg-before for 33, very quickly followed by George Agius for zero. Will Graves was next, and he was run out for 29.
With Matt Dunstone (15) and Warner (65), both not out, they took the score to 194-7.
After tea Stortford batted steadily before Mel Hussain was bowled by Anish Khiroya for 38. Dunstone then had young Adam Bassingthwaighte stumped by Read on 20. Captain Stuart Felstead and Pedro Venus put on 62 before Warner (3-18) bowled Felstead LBW for 32, and had Venus caught by Hamilton for 40.
With the two Stortford big hitters out, wickets fell regularly and Lawrence Watson took 4-16 off four overs as Stortford were all out 175.
The win was better late than never.
n Little Gaddesden:
The third-placed side in the Mid-Bucks Cricket League set two new club records last Saturday.
They hit their highest score, 291-4, and their youngest team member Jamie Jordache scored a remarkable 165. The 18-year-old Jamie plays under his captain-father Andre. Adding to the score was Steve Jones with 76. Opponents Ballinger hit 175-4 in reply.
At the end of one match towards the season’s tail end, the side do a silly dressing-up activity for japes. This time it was Ballinger that were left surprised by the get-ups.
The team had hired a coach and the players stopped to support charity shops en route to get outfits. It was reported that many emerged better-dressed than when they went in!