Depleted Preston lose from good position

A much-changed Preston side fell to a disappointing defeat to Northchurch. On winning the toss, skipper Ashley Catlin had no hesitation in electing to bat. This looked to be a good decision as Preston raced to 100 inside 23 overs with Catlin (45) and Chri

A much-changed Preston side fell to a disappointing defeat to Northchurch.

On winning the toss, skipper Ashley Catlin had no hesitation in electing to bat.

This looked to be a good decision as Preston raced to 100 inside 23 overs with Catlin (45) and Chris Cole (46) looking in fine form. But when both were dismissed in successive overs this signalled a change in fortunes.

The innings slowed and with Ian Williamson having to retire hurt with a pulled hamstring coupled with a few interesting dismissals, they closed on 172. Only Adam Shelley with 28 really got to grips with the Northchurch bowling later on.


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Preston got the best possible start in response with the opposition captain dismissed second ball by Casey Walker.

When Northchurch's overseas player Nasirul was run out for nought to leave them 34-4, Preston sensed victory.

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Solid batting by Hayes and Broughton bought Northchurch back into the game however, Hayes surviving a chance while in the teens to post a valuable 56.

With the game drifting away, skipper Catlin introduced himself into the attack and got two wickets in successive deliveries to give Preston a chance. But with 30 needed, Broughton took charge to see Northchurch home.

* Due to unavailability and injury, the seconds travelled to play Totteridge Millhillians with a depleted side.

On losing the toss, Preston were asked to bat first and made a bright start with openers Matt Brulee and Greig Hermes passing the 50 mark.

However, the dismissal of Hermes for 28 started a steady flow of wickets with Preston ending up 146 all out leaving Brulee stranded on 45.

In reply, Totteridge Millhillians never looked completely comfortable but eventually managed to pass their target for the loss of six wickets.

The thirds made it four wins in a row when they visited Harpenden fifths and were invited to bat first.

Openers Simon Luxton (32) and Dick Gatehouse (58) put on a good 100-run partnership on a precarious wicket before both went in quick succession. Captain Dave Saunders (42) helped take the score to 204 and a declaration was made after 46 overs with six wickets down.

The hero with the ball was recent signing Dilshan Wijesekera taking 4-32 off 12 overs.

A stubborn knock though by Harpenden's Australian Rogers held up proceedings until Andy Crawford returned for his second spell to take the important matchwinning wicket as Preston won by 69 runs.

The fourth team claimed their second win of the season at home to Botany Bay.

Preston totalled 202, Dylan Wright top scoring with 75 supported by Tom Brown's 54. Brown showed his all-round ability by taking two early wickets, Rob Clarke taking three, with Botany Bay all out for 157.

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