Hitchin lose unbeaten record but Baldock keep theirs and Stevenage win too
- Credit: DANNY LOO
Hitchin's unbeaten start to the Herts Cricket League Division One season came to an end with defeat at Ampthill Town.
They were in difficulty early on and despite a determined fightback in the field, they fell to a two-wicket loss, dropping off the top of the table in the process.
They'd won the toss and decided to bat first for the first time this season but it turned out to be a slog, especially in the face of the home side's opening bowlers Will Sneath and Jack Fuller.
Eight wickets had fell just beyond the midway point with only 79 runs added, a stubborn 26 from Kashif Nizami the only real resistance, and the fact Hitchin got to 113 was down to 16 in one over from Gurdeep Jandu (21).
They were all out though in the 36th over but at least the bowling and fielding was better. Shaftab Khalid took 3-11 and Sam Rippington 3-30, reducing Ampthill to 43-6 at one stage.
However, Liam Everitt and Ampthill skipper James Gage broke the back of the Hitchin offence and try as they might, they could not snare the last two wickets.
The seconds though had a better time, making 255-7 against their Stevenage counterparts, Barry Hann scoring 106 and Chris Maylin 61, and they had Stevenage all out 132 runs short, Duncan Howells taking 5-20.
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Stevenage's first team though beat St Albans in a tense Division Two A game.
Conor Hayward had hit 61 as they got to 185 batting first but Saints started brightly and it was until they lost a second wicket with the score at 72 that Stevenage came back into it.
Three wickets from Moses Anil, to go with his 32, contributed to the visitors' collapse and Stevenage, with the aid of good fielding and two run-outs, got home by just 10 runs.
Baldock remain unbeaten in Division Five B after beating Sawbridgeworth by 40 runs.
They struggled to 109 all out, J Muir making 22, but the tricky Avenue Park pitch also caused problems for the visitors and with 4-18 from Adam Hewitt, they were all out for 69.
The seconds lost but the fourths beat Knebworth Park by 54 runs, Kieran Lambert getting 66 not out and 3-12 while Mark Hollis got best figures of 3-18 and young Hayden Cooper impressed again with 2-22.