Hitchin start with a victory
Saracens Herts League One Hitchin got their Saracens Herts League Division One campaign off to a winning start in a low-scoring game at Lucas Lane against Harpenden. Harpenden won the toss and asked Hitchin to bat first on a pitch that was difficult to sc
Saracens Herts League One
Hitchin got their Saracens Herts League Division One campaign off to a winning start in a low-scoring game at Lucas Lane against Harpenden.
Harpenden won the toss and asked Hitchin to bat first on a pitch that was difficult to score on.
Only three batsmen made double figures - Aussie Cameron Boyd (32), Will Pugh (38) and Dave Moore (22) - in their total of 131 off 49.2 overs.
In reply, Harpenden struggled against the bowling of Moore from the Barleycorn End.
He took the first five wickets and had Harpenden reeling at 56-5.
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Boyd, who earlier had bowled from the Grant End, then took over from Moore and took the next three wickets.
The score was 68-8 and the home side were firm favourites for the maximum 30 points.
Firm resistance from the tailtenders saw them bat out almost 20 overs and the visitors looked like they might hang on for a draw. Skipper Moore decided to open the game up and gave the ball to John Moffatt, whose slow left-arm spin went for 22 runs off two overs.
Harpenden sensed victory but the bowling of Simon Bayston was up to the task and he took the last two wickets for Hitchin to win by 12 runs. The winning wicket was a brilliant diving catch at mid wicket by Chris Maylin.
Moore finished with 5-35, Boyd 3-21 and Bayston 2-8.
Hitchin travel to St Albans in the league this Saturday.
* Letchworth narrowly failed to take full points from their first Saracens Herts League game on Saturday at Langleybury.
After being put in, Letchworth faced a stiff test from the opening pair of Stephen Finn and Paul O'Reilly, backed up by some outstanding fielding.
Useful contributions from Steve March (39), skipper Colin Letford (26), Richard Walsh (21) and Ian Bowyer (20) saw them progress comfortably to 110-3.
They were then pegged back by two brilliant direct hit run outs and struggled to reach 162 all out off 52.2 overs.
Langleybury's slow over rate lost them two overs batting time, leaving them 45 overs to reach their target.
Letchworth opened using the old ball and Andy Newland quickly snapped up two wickets before Richard Jerome started to work his way through the middle order from the other end.
Only Ross Channor (35) batted with any confidence and he eventually holed out to long off off Richard Barclay.
Jerome continued to tie Langleybury down, but with the light failing rapidly, Langleybury hung on at 104-8, Jerome finishing with 5-23 off 22 overs.
Bad news for Letchworth was that Ben Wallis broke his finger fielding and will be out for several weeks.
The seconds registered an emphatic victory over Division Three newcomers Datchworth at Whitethorn Lane.
After Gurdeep Jandhu (4-48) and Jazdeep Sandhu (3-41) had restricted the visitors to 184-8, John Hilliard and Simon Elliott took Letchworth in sight of victory before Hilliard was bowled for 95. Elliott (74no) stayed to steer Letchworth to a nine-wicket victory.
The 3rd XI hung on for a draw against Radlett 4ths at Fairfield Park, with Barry Hann (52) helping Letchworth to 178-9 in reply to the visitors' 227-8.
Their fourth team took maximum points from Knebworth Park 5ths on a shocking wicket at Knebworth. After reaching 93 all out, Steve Lubbe (4-13) led the way as Park were dismissed for 53.
The fifth XI also came close to maximum points at home to Cockfosters 4ths at St Christopher School. Thirteen-year-old Tom Simmons (67no) led the way for Letchworth as they reached 151 before reducing the visitors to 137-9 with Tom Butler taking 3-11.
* Letchworth went out of the Cockspur National Knockout Cup on Sunday to a virtuoso performance by Chingford's Meares.
After winning the toss and batting, Letchworth slumped to 49-6 with only Hilliard (27) looking at all comfortable.
Then a swashbuckling 50 from Jerome, who added 68 with Tom Cranston (15), helped Letchworth to the comparative respectability of 127 all out.
Meares, having taken two wickets bowling seam, then took a further four bowling off spin to finish with figures of 6-13 off his nine overs.
Letchworth started well in defending their meagre total, with Richard Barclay grabbing two early wickets.
But it was that man Meares again as, surviving one hard chance, he steered his side to a six-wicket victory, finishing on 72no. Jerome again bowled tightly in taking 1-16 off his nine overs.