Letchworth are in the shake-up

Letchworth moved to within seven points of the second promotion spot in the Saracens Herts League Division One. They narrowly failed to force a win against Harpenden, the side currently in second place. Due to rain, the game was reduced to 88 overs and Ha

Letchworth moved to within seven points of the second promotion spot in the Saracens Herts League Division One.

They narrowly failed to force a win against Harpenden, the side currently in second place.

Due to rain, the game was reduced to 88 overs and Harpenden, having won the toss, elected to field, hoping for a successful run chase.

They found the Letchworth top order in consistent form.

Skipper Colin Letford (50) and John Hilliard (32) quickly put on 52 for the first wicket and, when Hilliard was bowled, Richard Walsh picked up the tempo with a good 43 before he was caught at cover.

Letford's anchor role ended in the 34th over and this brought together Dave Albon and Steve March who launched a fierce attack on the bowling, making good use of the short legside boundary.

Most Read

Albon was out just before the close for 58 and March remained unbeaten on 41 as the innings finished on 232-4, leaving the home side to score at nearly six runs an over and with no bonus points.

Letchworth opted to take the old ball and both Andy Newland and Richard Jerome took early wickets. This brought together daSilva and Hooper who, after a slow start, upped the scoring rate in a stand of 105 before daSilva was caught behind off Newland for 57.

Letchworth then took the new ball but it was treated harshly by Hooper who raced to 80 in quick time and Letford had to return to the Newland/Jerome combination. It was Jerome who finally forced Hooper to sky a catch.

Harpenden were 182-4 at this point with six overs to go and still well in the hunt. A succession of good catches in the deep slowed them down and in the end they had to play out the last over with nine wickets down, finishing on 215-9. Newland finished with 5-77 and Jerome 4-76.

With four games left, there are still seven out of the 10 sides in the division who can claim second place.

Letchworth's fate is in their own hands as three of their final games are against other sides in contention before they finish at Millhillians who will probably have won the league by then.

They are currently playing with great confidence but they will have to contend with a number of absentees in the next three weeks as they push for promotion.

The home derby with Hitchin, just two points above Letchworth, could be crucial on September 2.

Letchworth seconds were heading for a tight finish with Dunstable 2nds at Whitethorn Lane when rain caused the game to be abandoned.

They had slumped to 144-7 with only Sam Booth (40) showing his usual form before a swashbuckling stand of 62 between Gurdeep Jandu (47no) and Richard Barclay (23) helped them to close on 215-8 off their 53 overs.

Dunstable were 184-6 off 42.3 overs when the rain became too heavy to continue. Barclay finished with 4-43.

The thirds had much the better of the game at Fairfield Park, reaching 238-9 declared off 51 overs, with Steven Flint making 45, Dave Mullen 38 and Dane Hurst 37.

Boxmoor struggled against the old warhorse Colin Croucher (3-22) and finished on 174-7.

The fourth XI took 30 points at Clifton 2nds where Dominic Chatfield turned in a virtuoso performance. He made 36 of Letchworth's 150 all out and then took 6-10 as Clifton slumped to 84 all out.

The fifth team's friendly at Pirton and Sunday's Chess Valley League home game against Crouch End Calthorpe were both victims of the weather.

* Letchworth Ladies were rewarded for the long trip to Swindon with a comfortable victory over Purton Exiles.

Winning the toss, Letchworth put Purton in to bat on a green wicket.

Letchworth bowled and fielded well with Kathryn Ellesmore taking 4-13 and Emma Cane 4-28. Purton struggled to 121-9 in their 40 overs.

Letchworth's reply was set back by losing Laura Jackson in the second over but Cane (37) and Julie Clarke (48no) played patiently on a pitch of variable bounce.

The pair took the score to 89 before Cane was bowled by a ball that kept low but Clarke helped finish the job with eight overs to spare.