Ickleford and Baldock will learn their fate
Saracens Herts League Preston confirmed their place in Division Two for next season thanks to a winning draw over relegation candidates Kings Langley. Winning the toss and electing to bat first on an excellent track, Preston raced along at four and five r
Saracens Herts League
Preston confirmed their place in Division Two for next season thanks to a winning draw over relegation candidates Kings Langley.
Winning the toss and electing to bat first on an excellent track, Preston raced along at four and five runs an over.
Warren Hearne's chanceless 52 and Dave Fleckney (31) provided excellent support to the powerful Richard Gatehouse who scored a majestic 116.
Some late order hitting saw Preston finish their restricted 51 overs on 250-6.
Excellent bowling from the evergreen duo of Mark Waters (2-41) and Andy Riant (2-60) had their hosts in trouble at 54-3 by the 20-over mark.
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With the weather getting worse by the minute, Preston's bowlers began to struggle with their line and length, and Kings Langley made them pay racing along at six runs per over.
The introduction of Indika (3-33) helped stem the tide of runs and saw Langley finish their 45 overs on 205-7.
The seconds entertained Kings Langley 2nds in Division Six and survived for a draw.
Preston inserted the visitors who made a fair declaration after scoring 203-5. The main wicket taker was Ian Hamilton with 3-35.
In reply Preston had 51 overs but fell 30 runs short on 173-9 to draw the match.
Top scorer was Dave Saunders with a breezy 33, while Simon Luxton made a solid 31 and youngsters Ben Hill (29) and Callum Blair (26no) performed well.
Dwayne Smith completed a memorable day for the visitors, taking a hat-trick having earlier scored an unbeaten century.
* Ickleford have one more chance to gain promotion after a poor batting display against London Colney.
They remained in fourth but may need to win to achieve their goal.
All seemed well at 95-2 before eight wickets fell for just 32 runs.
Mark Schumann had made 46 and Duncan Jenner 23 but too many batsmen were out to poor shots.
Ickleford bowled well but were just unable to defend such a low score with London Colney getting home by two wickets.
Heath Wheatley (3-51) and Steve Maylin (3-30) led the way.
The seconds chased 171 against Northwood 3rds with Martin McCulley and Bal Kalirai taking three wickets each. But they fell just short on 165 with McCulley top scoring with 49.
* Baldock Town need a further six points to ensure their safety in Division Five. They play away at Knebworth Park thirds this Saturday.
They played out an exciting draw at Millhillians 2nds in a game that was reduced to 88 overs.
Baldock elected to field on winning the toss and the home side made a reasonable start before collapsing.
Logan Newman and Tim Dean blew away the tail to dismiss Millhillians for 157 off 46 overs. Newman had his best-ever figures of 4-32 and the superb Dean took 4-17 from 16 overs.
The Baldock reply stuttered to 39-4 after 15 overs.
A brief rally got Baldock going but they kept losing wickets until skipper Rob Cant (26) and Rob Peacock (42) steadied the ship.
Both batsmen were out to leave Baldock 106-7 with 52 needed from eight overs.
Julian Muir (26no) batted well throughout the remaining overs and Alistair Jones bashed a rapid 20.
The last over came with 10 needed and with Muir taking four from the first ball it looked game on.
But they were restricted to just two more runs and the game was drawn with Baldock 154-8 off 42 overs.
The seconds are gunning for promotion after comfortably beating St Albans 4ths.
Mark Lewis took out the lower-middle order and tail to pick up 6-29 as St Albans were finally all out for 122.
A steady opening partnership between Andy Diplock and Richie Waters got Baldock off to a good start.
Waters scored a fine half century - his fifth of the season - to remain unbeaten on 54 as Baldock won by seven wickets.