Rough start for Hemel first XI
There was another defeat for Hemel Hempstead Town’s first team on Saturday, but the club’s third and fourth teams redeemed matters to gain back-to-back wins to lead their divisions .
The Sunday first team also gained a victory in a friendly clash, while the second team were due to face Southgate Compton, only to find out they have now dropped out of the league.
In the Saturday first XI Herts Saracens Championship clash away at Reed, Hemel opener Hemish Ilangaratne got stranded on 95 not out having impressively carried his bat through the innings.
He was the solo Hemel batter to register runs of note, with Jack Bailey (20) and Tom Waterton (11) the only other double-figure scorers.
Put into bat by Reed, Hemel never got going with their batting. The partnership of 46 for the fourth wicket between Ilangaratne and Jack Bailey was the best they could put together.
They ultimately left Ilangaratne stranded five runs short of what would have been an epic century as the visitors closed on 162.
Reed did not waste any time in the reply. Opener Ed Wharton hit eight fours and five sixes in his knock of 91 as the hosts went on to win the game by six wickets with 20 overs to spare.
Shidhu Kanade (2-45) was the pick of the Hemel bowlers.
Last year Hemel beat Reed home and away. Prior to that, the previous time Hemel faced them was in 2016 when Hemel lost both games and ended up being relegated.
Hemel are hoping that is not a bad omen.
This Saturday sees the side host Ampthill Town, who have won one and lost one in their opening two games. The action gets under way at Heath Park from midday.
It’s now two wins on the trot for newly-promoted Hemel III as they appear to be adjusting well to life up in Division 6A.
Saturday’s visitors to the Heath Park Nursery Ground Preston II had been relegated from Division 5A last term so Hemel’s 89-run victory augers well for the remainder of the campaign.
Hemel overcame losing skipper Graham Clark to the third ball of their innings to fight back in style.
Charlie Hoskins (54) led the way, with meaningful partnerships with Anjam Khan (21) and Jack Doodson (30) as Hemel ticked along.
Ross Chapman, coming in at number eight, then hit an unbeaten 40 to get Hemel near the 200 mark at 199-9 from their allocation.
Opening with leg spinner Alfie Bordoley proved to be a masterstroke for hemel’s bowling attack as he picked up 3-28 from his ten overs.
John Peppett (4-29) continued his good recent form and Dave Jenkins cleaned up with 2-3 from just 12 balls as Hemel skittled Preston for 110 to end the day top of the division with 65 points.
This Saturday they visit Letchworth Garden City III, who have only played one game so far this term.
It was a battle of the newcomers in Hemel’s fourth team clash on Saturday away at Aldenham. The hosts had leapt up into Division 9 A after winning Division 10 A last year, while Hemel IV had been promoted from Division 9B.
Hemel proved to be just too strong on the bowling front to gain victory by 47 runs and make it two wins from two to sit atop their division.
Put in first, Hemel only made it to 149 all out from 43 overs as they struggled to get decent partnerships together.
Number seven Phil Smith was the lead man with an unbeaten 36 and his partnership of 42 for the ninth wicket with Vinnie Liddar (15) was to prove crucial to Hemel’s fortunes.
At the top of the innings openers Mike Samueals (19) and Jim Langley (15) got the scoreboard moving but there was little else until Smith arrived.
Hemel’s dynamic bowling proved to be the key factor, with Sam Wheeler leading the charge with 3-10 from nine overs. Darryl Barnett (2-10), Nic Benson (1-9) and then Vinnie Liddar (2-19) wrapped the game up for Hemel, as they crushed Aldenham for 102 all out.
This Saturday they host Letchworth Garden City IV, who have split their opening two games.
The Sunday first XI had a friendly decided by four runs in the last over of the match when hosting Old Fullerians.
Hemel overcame the early loss of skipper Lewis Hodgins for two runs to build around Australian overseas player Jack Bailey (56), second XI skipper Tom Waterton (37) and Lewis Boughton (24).
Hemel made it to 183 all out after 37 overs.
In the reply Simon Walker, of Premier side West Herts, scored 43 but was caught by Bailey off the bowling of Hodgins to keep OFs in check.
Vice-captain Jack Doodson ended up playing for OFs due to teaching at Watford Grammar School and notched 58, but it was the seam of Jack Boughton that won the game for Hemel in the last over as he snapped up figures of 4-26 to rattle out the tail with just five balls remaining.