Letchworth get off to a flying start with victory over Harpenden in league opener

PUBLISHED: 08:40 09 May 2017

Letchworth batsman Maxford Pipe spins around as the ball whizzes close by at Harpenden. 
Picture: Melissa Page

Letchworth batsman Maxford Pipe spins around as the ball whizzes close by at Harpenden. Picture: Melissa Page

Archant

Letchworth GC put in one of their finest displays in recent years on Saturday to beat Harpenden by 39 runs and make the perfect start on their return to the Saracens Herts Premier League.

Letchworth batsman Harry Aitkenhead walks after being bowled out by Harpenden's Billy May. Picture: Melissa PageLetchworth batsman Harry Aitkenhead walks after being bowled out by Harpenden's Billy May. Picture: Melissa Page

Having been asked to bat first Letchworth got off to an excellent start as Will Aitkenhead and Tom Simmons put on 124 for the first wicket in quick time.

The stand was ended when Aitkenhead was stumped for 65 off the bowling of Ben Clements and Peter New fell to the same bowler for just one shortly after.

When Simmons was adjudged lbw for 45 off the bowling of Nick Lamb the score was 139-3 and Letchworth were in danger of missing out on the big score their good start had promised.

Maxford Pipe steadied the ship through with a confident innings of 51 and he was ably supported by skipper Will Bates (24) and Adam Jenkins (27) to take Letchworth to an imposing total of 260-8.

Richard Barclay struck early when he clean bowled Alex Axon and at the other end Praveen Bhatti took the two key wickets of Clements and Ben Frazer to leave Harpenden 43-3.

Ben Cottenden picked up two wickets to leave Harpenden on 107-5 but opener Gregg Cooper was playing an excellent anchor role and supported by Lamb ticked the runs off until they needed 83 from the final 10 overs.

The returning Pipe changed the game for good though as he bowled Lamb for 33 and had Cooper caught on the boundary for 101. Two run outs left Harpenden 210-9 and Cottenden sealed the match as he clean bowled Richard Darwin to dismiss the hosts for 221.

The 2nds also enjoyed a winning start as they chased down 274 against Northchurch to win by three wickets with one ball remaining. Dave Albon led the way with 155 and he was backed up by Steve Hughes who scored his maiden 2nds league 50.

The 3rds suffered a four wicket defeat against Allenburys. Graham Bishton’s 64 helped them post 185 all out but the opposition got home in the 48th over.

The 4ths lost by three wickets against Northwood Town having scored 192-9 while the 5ths were bowled out for 79 and did their best to pull off a remarkable win but Preston 4ths snuck home by three wickets.

On Sunday Letchworth scored 198-2 at Sandy thanks to New’s 98* but Sandy cantered home by seven wickets.

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