Ickleford's victory bid thwarted

Ickleford were unable to force their first Saracens Herts League victory after winning the toss for the first time this season. They were able to bat first in an attempt to put on runs, and pressure, against top of the table St Albans seconds. The home te

Ickleford were unable to force their first Saracens Herts League victory after winning the toss for the first time this season.

They were able to bat first in an attempt to put on runs, and pressure, against top of the table St Albans seconds.

The home team's plans went smoothly indeed as the villagers racked up 237-6 in 49 overs declared, after the game was reduced in length due to St Albans not arriving on time.

The innings hinged around a massive 180-run partnership for the second wicket by Mark Schumann (74) and Pete Watson (95) who took the game away from St Albans.


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The pair never looked in trouble despite the pitch offering good lateral movement for the seamers, and set an excellent platform for the lower order, including Richard Brown and Sam Giggle, to deliver some lusty blows.

In response, after a brief opening spell with the old ball, it was the new ball pair of Schumann and Heath Wheatley who started to make things happen for the home side, picking up two and three wickets apiece.

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Bowling with pace and aggression, they soon made inroads into the St Albans line-up, before a partnership developed for the fifth wicket.

Balancing the need to keep St Albans in the game, the run rate climbed as the partnership built momentum.

Eventually a chink of light was presented by a superb catch in the deep from Duncan Jenner off Steve Maylin, with Peter Robinson also picking up another wicket, to leave St Albans wobbling.

Despite the return of Schumann and Wheatley, Ickleford were unable to force the result, with St Albans finishing 30 runs short for the loss of seven wickets.

The seconds were cancelled and the third team had an emphatic victory over Sawbridgeworth fifths.

Ickleford appeared in trouble at 23-3 but an excellent partnership between Nick Webb and Daniel Eldrett of 130 changed the game.

Webb, just back from the heat of St Lucia, adapted to the cold, wet and miserable conditions with 61, while Eldrett (52) played some belligerent shots.

Ickleford declared at 201-8 and Sawbo had no answer to the opening attack of John Williams (5-17 in six overs) and Roy Izzard (3-4 in eight overs) as they crashed to 25 all out.

Weston nearly forced the win against North Mymms thirds in Division Nine.

Julian Rudder was caught on 49, and despite a valuable and patient 20 from Andrew Mills, Weston were restricted to just 144 all out in 38 overs.

Skipper Marcus Peckham took 4-32 off 23 overs, ably supported by Tim Burton at the other end who was getting the ball to move appreciably with his off cutters as he bagged 3-41 off 14 overs.

A quick flurry of wickets put paid to North Mymms' assault and they were left desperately hanging on at the end as Rudder took two tailend wickets for just eight runs.

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