Series of firsts for Hitchin, Stevenage and Letchworth although not all are positive
- Credit: KEVIN LINES
The number one and rain was a common theme for Hitchin, Stevenage and Letchworth Garden City cricket clubs this week.
Hitchin remain top of Herts Cricket League Division One despite their game against Old Albanians falling victim to the wet weather.
The match at Woollams did start, albeit reduced to 35 overs per side, but in the end only 23 of them were completed, the hosts on 112-2 when the rain ended the contest.
There was better news for the second team who took full advantage of the massive effort to get the Division Four B game on in the first place, work which had started at 6.30am.
The visitors to Lucas Lane were Hatfield Hyde who won the toss and elected to bat, a decision that came back to haunt them very quickly.
They were bowled out for just 48, Duncan Howells taking 4-9 in seven overs and Danny Fair 3-3 in five.
There was also 2-11 from Dave Moore and a wicket for Will Norrington before 18-year-old league debutant Will Guest hit 27 not out to take them to an eight-wicket win.
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The performance of the weekend though went to U14 Jamie Timms as he took 5-8 in eight overs, including four maidens, as the fourths beat St Margaretsbury.
Hitchin scored 185-7 before Timms and the other bowlers dismissed the opposition for 98.
Stevenage claimed a first win of the season as they sent Watford home on the wrong end of a 61-run result.
The hosts were asked to bat first and made exactly 200 from their 50 overs. That was in no small part down to 72 from Karan Anand and Jason Chapman's 28, the pair rebuilding after the loss of skipper Conor Hayward in two overs.
A late flurry from Moses Anil, who managed 47 off 41 balls, gave Watford a tall order.
And it was one they never managed to get close to, even with a revised target of 197, as Stevenage's spinners continually pinned them back.
They were eventually all out for 136 with Reece Stewart leading the way on 4-14, although 3-40 from Moses and 2-33 for Tom Bonham also helped, as did a first wicket for the first-team from 16-year-old Satveer Pawar.
Letchworth's first was a first completed Championship fixture of the season, although unfortunately it ended in a loss to Hemel Hempstead by just 13 runs.
Reduced to 35 overs per side, Hemel opted to bat first and made 177-5, recovering from a perilous 82-5 with 35 in the final three overs ultimately proving decisive.
Jonny Harris picked up 2-26 while Harry Aitkenhead finished with 2-32.
Letchworth started briskly in reply and had 81 on the board when the second wicket fell, Will Aitkenhead and Tim Graham adding 70 together.
Spin changed the game though and when Aitkenhead was fourth man out for 63, the pressure increased further.
Some lusty blows from Harry Aitkenhead and David Sprittles kept them in the hunt but needing 22 off the last over, victory soon slipped away.
Letchworth's second team had their game against Totteridge Millhillians abandoned due to rain.