Baldock safe in Div Five

Saracens Herts League Baldock s fourth win in five games meant they comfortably avoided relegation from Division Five. Their league season came to a close by thrashing Knebworth Park 3rds by nine wickets. James Peacock took three of the first five wickets

Saracens Herts League

Baldock's fourth win in five games meant they comfortably avoided relegation from Division Five.

Their league season came to a close by thrashing Knebworth Park 3rds by nine wickets.

James Peacock took three of the first five wickets to end with figures of 3-48 from 17 excellent overs.

Tim Dean rattled through the tail along with Graham Letford to bowl the hosts out for 123 from 44 overs.

Dean ended with 3-26 for 46 league wickets in another excellent season for the evergreen left-arm slow bowler.

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Letford was out for one in Baldock's reply but runs came at a pace with Giles Naylor plundering a run-a-ball 64no with three sixes and Peacock scoring a rapid unbeaten fifty to see Baldock home in 19 overs.

The seconds were celebrating promotion despite losing by 92 runs to fellow promoted side Old Cholmeleians 2nds.

The old boys were 160-0 before collapsing to 201-8 in their 53 overs. Chris Lewis bowled an excellent spell picking up 4-41, ably supported by Mark Lewis who took 3-10.

Baldock's response never really got going and the loss of early wickets meant victory appeared unlikely.

A partnership between Richie Waters (28) and Duncan Lewis (32) kept Baldock in with a chance. But once they were dismissed, Baldock stumbled to 109 all out.

A disappointing batting performance from Preston saw them go down by eight wickets against a well-drilled Reed side in Division Two.

Winning the toss and electing to bat first, Preston could only muster 134 all out with Warren Hearne (52) the only batsman to show any kind of form. Ashley Catlin was their next highest scorer with just 19.

Reed raced home to victory for the loss of just two wickets in the 31st over, with the impressive Heslam finishing unbeaten on 63.

It was a disappointing second half of the season for Preston as they only picked up 96 points from a possible 300 in their last 10 league games.

Preston seconds had an unpleasant visit to Southgate Compton to end their Division Six campaign.

Skipper Marty Pierce was relieved to lose the toss with the home side electing to bat first on a notorious wicket.

The home side got off to a swift start but the introduction of the hostile Finlay Connah (3-17) changed the tide, backed up by Max Anderson with 3-15.

Ten points were gained from bowling Southgate Compton out for 141.

In reply, only two batsmen troubled the over-enthusiastic bowlers, Greg Hearne grafting for a fine 64 and Ben Hill next best with 14.

The rest of the side succumbed to poor shots and the result was a 38-run defeat as they finished on 103 all out.

Weston put on a special display to round off their largely disappointing campaign in Division Eight against Wormley 2nds.

Openers Carl Richards and Julian Rudder rode their luck and smashed the Wormley attack all round the ground, putting on 120 for the first wicket in just 15 overs before losing Richards.

Rudder fell soon afterwards but not before making 64 entertaining runs.

John McKean and Orville Batson took over, Batson crashing the hapless bowlers to all parts on his way to 90.

Weston were afforded the rare luxury of declaring on 287-4 in the 42nd over to set the opposition a daunting target in 58 overs.

Wormley were not going to simply play out for a tame draw and tried to remain positive throughout their innings.

Arshad Mahmood took 3-34 off 11 overs before skipper Marcus Peckham turned in a season's best performance.

Aided by a slow turning wicket, and some excellent catching in the outfield, he took 7-27 in 10 overs to bowl Wormley out for just 62 and lead the home side to victory by 225 runs.

Ickleford Cricketers drew their final match of the season in Division Nine.

Electing to bat first, Cricketers ran up a total of 235-9 and their innings was based around a good innings of 71no by Ian Cousins.

Skipper Dave Pursey struck a firm fifty and other support came from Sean Sehmby (33) and Richard Robbins (31).

Opponents Bentley Heath began to chase the runs but on a wicket with bounce and turn, spinner Richard Starkey removed their two dangermen on his way to figures of 5-33 in 15 overs.

Pace bowler Dave Allen also impressed with 2-36 as Bentley Heath clung on grimly in the closing overs against the spinning ball to finish on 144-8.

The draw will see both teams in the division for another season.