Hitchin stalwarts sign off with promotion
HITCHIN did the double over St Margaretsbury as both the first and second teams inflicted defeats. It was an important victory for the second XI as it assured promotion to Saracens Herts League Division Five for next season and retiring players Ian Mills
HITCHIN did the double over St Margaretsbury as both the first and second teams inflicted defeats.
It was an important victory for the second XI as it assured promotion to Saracens Herts League Division Five for next season and retiring players Ian Mills and Scott Marshall had the perfect send-off.
In the first team fixture at Lucas Lane, Hitchin won by six wickets after they chased 209.
It was Jimmy Lewis' brilliant century that set up the victory after Hitchin won the toss and elected to bowl first, an unsurprising decision given the overcast conditions and damp nature of the wicket.
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There was a reasonable start for St Margaretsbury as they reached 31 without loss before Ashley Hammond got the breakthrough.
He and Danny Fair each picked up a further wicket to leave Saints 105-3 but they were looking like building a big score.
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But after Craig Millwood ran out one batsman and Hammond picked up his third wicket two balls later, the away team were 131-5.
Despite these two quick wickets, Ben Wallis made 52no to guide his side to 209-7 from 49 overs.
However, despite the nature of the wicket, Lewis had little time to waste in the pursuit of the target.
Coming in at number three after the early loss of Mick Lee, Lewis hit the ball to all parts as his knock included 11 fours and five sixes.
Lewis and James Kettleborough put on 132 for the second wicket, with Kettleborough only scoring 26.
Fair came and went, before Lewis succumbed when he was caught for 122 from only 114 deliveries.
However, with both plenty of overs and wickets in hand, Hitchin had little trouble in reaching the target as Ian Bowyer and Will Pugh guided Hitchin past the target in 41 overs.
The result means Hitchin finished the Division One season in fourth place.
* The seconds got the win they so badly needed as a three-wicket victory saw them gain promotion.
The result was the perfect send-off for both Mills and Marshall who hung up their whites after more than 20 seasons at Hitchin with both a victory and third place in Division Six.
In the reply to the home side's score of 126 all out, Hitchin were dejected after they lost five wickets for only 20 in reply.
But Gavin Bidgood produced an important innings in scoring an unbeaten 58 to take Hitchin home.
Bidgood was superbly supported by Alex Stoner (16), Colin Burnell (18) and Steve Flint (13no) who hit the winning run.
Earlier, Hitchin had won the toss and elected to field first on a wet track and the opening pairing of Chris Slack and Flint took advantage.
Saints took things slowly and lost wickets at regular intervals as both Slack and Flint picked up three each.
Ian Goddard picked up one and Bidgood was also involved with the ball as he took two wickets.