Cricket round-up: Knebworth Park still locked in on promotion after Potton win
- Credit: VIKKI LINCE
Knebworth Park strengthened their promotion hopes in Division Three A of the Herts Cricket League with a four-wicket win at Potton.
The victory, which keeps them second in the table, seven points behind leaders West Herts and 79 clear of near neighbours Datchworth in third, wasn't as straight forward as it could have been.
The hosts were set for a huge score when they got to 166-2 halfway through their innings but the Park spinners quickly changed that, claiming eight wickets for the loss of just 22 runs.
Matt Hutchinson took 2-36 as well as three fine catches while there were three wickets each for Alex Richmond (3-52) and Louis Champion (3-21).
In reply three of the front-line batsmen fell for ducks but the combination of Hutchinson (56) and Champion (59) gave the chase the momentum it needed and Rob Morley (21*) and Charlie Randall (13*) got them to 192-6 and their ninth win of the season.
The seconds also won by four wickets against Watton-at-Stone, the third success in four games lifting them out of the relegation spot for the first time.
Niels Hart took 2-32 and Sam Heron 2-36 were backed up by 2-12 from Ben Parkash, 2-7 for Asif Mahmood and 1-15 from U13 George Nevill on his debut.
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Graham Fisher got the other wicket as Watton were all out for 135 and 39 from Parkash and 35 for Mark Woods nudged them home.
The fourths lost to unbeaten Lutonians by 83 runs with three wickets each from Richard Wheeler and David Mantle plus a top score of 29 from Ryan Loonan.
Ickleford's fourth successive defeat in Division Two A to leave them sixth in the standings.
The 150-run loss at Abbots Langley came despite 2-37 for Thomas Brown but the hosts still cruised to 240-8.
And Ickleford were all out for 90, with only 15-year-old Eden Scott (39) and Richard Brown (16) making it to double figures.
Stevenage meanwhile have their eyes firmly on promotion from the division although their hopes suffered a setback with a one-wicket loss at Berkhamsted.
Scott Davies top scored with 40 and there was 36 from David Carr as they made 203-8, however, the hosts were able to sneak home with nine men down and four balls remaining.
Davies returned to take 3-56 for Stevenage who are now just 21 points clear of third-placed Old Elizabethans.
Preston slumped to the bottom of the Championship after a four-wicket loss at home to Broxbourne.
The visitors won the toss and put Preston, a tactic which seemed to be the right one as the home side could only muster an under-par 174 all out in the 53rd over.
After a positive start by Preston opener Jimmy Stevens (41) it was the relentless pressure from Broxbourne's Conor Ridley, who finished with a magnificent 7-52, that made life very hard for the Preston players to get any proper foothold.
The Preston lower middle order did take the fight back to Broxbourne but all fell for less than 20 with only skipper Max Anderson clobbering 22 at the end to give them any chance.
Broxbourne found the going tough as well though and they were at 74-5 at one point with hopes rising in the Preston camp.
However, Broxbourne's number five Davies had other ideas and a match-winning innings of 91got them to 180-6 in the 38th over.
Hitchin picked up a six-wicket win at Lucas Lane against Flitwick.
Shaftab Khalid and Sam Rippington each took three wickets as the visitors were all out for 158 and 61 from Ajay Singh Momi, supported by 43 not out from Will Guest got them home inside 37 overs.
They are now fourth, 45 points behind second-placed Shenley Village.
Letchworth ended up tied after a thriller at Langleybury.
The hosts batted first and made 254-7 in their 50 overs, David Sprittles getting two wickets, but with one over to go of the reply, Letchworth needed just five runs with four wickets in hand.
The first four balls brought the four runs required to level the scores but George Denman was caught off the penultimate delivery and the last one ended with Richard Stewart run out.
Christy O'Brien was bowled on 99, while Nathan Sprittles managed 50.
Baldock are second in Division Five B after a 19-run win away to Ickleford seconds
It was an exciting finish. Baldock batted first and made 228-7, Robert Peacock getting 61 and Ryan Batty 50 not out while Scot Crouch took 3-42 for Ickleford.
The home side made a valiant attempt to get to the victory target.
Sam Giggle led the way with an excellent 73 and Adam Parkin hit an aggressive 36 but a superb 6-46 from Peacock meant Ickleford fell short at 209.