Letchworth GC lose chance of victory

Letchworth GC had to settle for a draw at St Margaretsbury after being in a strong position to take all 30 points. The home side won the toss and elected to bat, forcing the Garden City to bowl first with a wet ball. They started steadily and had reached

Letchworth GC had to settle for a draw at St Margaretsbury after being in a strong position to take all 30 points.

The home side won the toss and elected to bat, forcing the Garden City to bowl first with a wet ball. They started steadily and had reached 33 when former Letchworth player Ben Wallis was caught behind off Seb Franke-Matthecka.

St Margaretsbury, led by opener Livermore, then advanced to 106-3, during which time Dominica Marsh grabbed two leg before decisions.

Then Simon Tilbury joined Livermore in adding 43 before Andy Newland dismissed them both in quick succession, Livermore for 70 and Tilbury for 25.

Livermore's dismissal proved to be the turning point as Marsh worked his way steadily through the lower order to finish with 6-61 as St Margaretsbury closed on 197-9. Newland finished with 2-44.

Letchworth's opening pair of Tom Cranston and Tom Simmons looked in no trouble as they advanced, albeit rather slowly, to 81-0.

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At this point, with a strong batting line-up to follow, Letchworth were odds-on favourites to win, but the introduction of Simon Tilbury proved the turning point.

He bowled Simmons for 26, then grabbed the prize wicket of Franke-Matthecka, adjudged leg before, and then trapped Cranston leg before for 45 and suddenly Letchworth were 98-3.

Simon Elliott and skipper Steve March then added 31 and the innings seemed to be back on course.

But when Elliott was bowled by Tilbury for 21 attempting an ambitious leg side stroke, wickets started to tumble as March watched in dismay from the other end.

He finished on 26no as Letchworth GC closed on 160-8 in a game they felt they should have won.

Tilbury finished with 5-49 and Shanley, who bowled throughout, took 3-70.

* The second XI entertained Sawbridgeworth seconds at Whitethorn Lane and were beaten again.

The visitors reached 203 despite good bowling by Darren Curry (5-30), Simon Edwards (3-21) and Dom Chatfield (2-21) and Letchworth were never in the hunt in reply.

Only Dave Mullen (44) and Curry (24) stayed long as they slumped to 98-9 before a last wicket partnership of 46 led by skipper Graham Bishton (42no) took them to the respectability of 144 all out.

The third XI game with Hatch End was a victim of the weather, but the fourth and fifth teams both won again to maintain their good form.

The fourth XI visited Boxmoor where the home side posted 189-7, with Ed Smith taking 3-39, before an opening stand of 98 between Mike Fernanado (58) and Richard Wight (48) put Letchworth GC on their way to a four-wicket win.

The fifths entertained Monken Hadley seconds and reached 165-8 with skipper Jerry Gillham making 33, Henry Robinson 32 and Matt Dyer 21, before good bowling by Bav Aujla (4-6) and Jo Hartley (2-8) bowled the visitors out for 61.

* On Sunday, Letchworth GC recorded another convincing win in the Chess Valley League when they visited the beautiful county ground at Long Marston.

The home side were not as impressive as their ground, however, and the Garden City reached 306-4 off their 45 overs with Seb Franke-Matthecka making 103no, Richard Walsh 92no, Sam Booth 48 and Sabjit Chahal 32.

The home side were never in the hunt as they were bowled out for 164, with Mick Mahoney taking 3-18 and Rob Booth 2-15.

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