A winning formula

Letchworth seem to have finally found the secret of turning draws into wins. They registered another victory at Whitethorn Lane on Saturday against a much improved Berkhamsted side. Colin Letford won the toss and invited the visitors to bat. It looked as

Letchworth seem to have finally found the secret of turning draws into wins.

They registered another victory at Whitethorn Lane on Saturday against a much improved Berkhamsted side.

Colin Letford won the toss and invited the visitors to bat.

It looked as though he might have got it wrong as Berkhamsted raced to 38 without loss in the first five overs before the dependable Andy Newland slowed them with two quick wickets.

The introduction of leg spinner Adam Jenkins, making a welcome return to the first XI, caused a middle order collapse to leave the visitors struggling at 129-6.

But Gerrard (34), a team-mate of Letchworth's Ed Morse at Oxford University, shared two good late order stands before Morse gleefully dismissed him in the last over.

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Berkhamsted had by then recovered to 217-9 off their 53 overs, Jenkins finishing with 3-38, with two wickets each for Morse, Newland and Richard Jerome.

Letchworth made a good start to the chase, with John Hilliard (32) and skipper Letford (25) putting on a quick 55 for the first wicket.

Both were dismissed together with Dave Albon, who had been promoted to number three, and Letchworth suddenly found themselves 64-3.

This then brought the in-form Steve March and Richard Walsh together and, with Walsh playing second fiddle, the pair added 130 before March was caught behind for a magnificent 87.

Walsh (44no) took command and, together with Ben Wallis (16no), saw Letchworth to victory in a nail-biting last over, with two balls to spare.

The seconds totally demolished their Hertford counterparts, reaching 320-4 off their 53 overs, with major contributions from skipper Graham Bishton (100), Alex Hislop (90no) and Yorkshireman Simon Elliott (73).

This was before bowling the home side out for 164 with plenty of overs to spare, Ali Shakeel taking 4-47.

The third XI were just unable to repeat the performance against Hertford 3rds at Fairfield Park.

They totalled 208 with major contributions from Chris Collison (53) and Jonno Gordon (43) before restricting Hertford to 195-8.

Another two wickets would have seen Letchworth with a clean sweep of five victories on Saturday.

The fourth and fifth teams both had comprehensive away victories.

The fourth XI declared on 260-5 at Dunstable 4ths, Matthew Dear making 87no, Matt Heath 68 and skipper Andy Catherell 39no and then Dominic Chatfield (5-25) helped bowl the home side out for 212.

There was great jubilation in the fifth team who clinched promotion from Division 13 after finishing bottom last year.

They scored 250-8 declared at Hatfield 3rds with 13-year-old Tom Simmons reaching his maiden century (100no) - the third club maiden century in two weeks.

He was supported by Matt Bridge (35) and then inspirational skipper Dan Burley polished off the home side for 92, taking 6-6 off 7 overs.

It was a fitting end to a wonderful season for the team which remained unbeaten except for one game they had to concede during the World Cup finals.

P On Sunday, Letchworth's scheduled Chess Valley League game with Leverstock Green was cancelled due to their involvement in the Becker Plate competition.

Letchworth instead entertained Essex side Ford.

Due to a breakdown, the visitors did not arrive until after 3pm and a 35-over game was played in which Ford made 215-6 with Jonno Gordon taking 3-42.

Letchworth comfortably reached their target, by five wickets, Richard Walsh making 83, Simon Elliott 44, Gordon 41 and Simon Edwards 34.

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