Close but not close enough for Letchworth against leaders

PUBLISHED: 15:19 13 June 2019

Nathan Sprittles' wicket proved to be a turning point for Letchworth against Hoddesdon. Picture: DANNY LOO

Nathan Sprittles' wicket proved to be a turning point for Letchworth against Hoddesdon. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Archant

Letchworth were on the wrong side of a nail-biter at Whitethorn Lane as they fell short against SHCL Championship leaders Hoddesdon.

A delayed start due to the wet weather meant a 42-over game and Letchworth's stand-in skipper Will Aitkenhead had no hesitation in bowling first on winning the toss.

The decision was vindicated immediately as Maxford Pipe dismissed Ross Clarke with the very first ball and tight bowling from George Denman and Harry Aitkenhead made batting difficult.

Debutant Dilshan Manamperi was introduced and his leg spin dismissed Rob Walters and Jayden Broodryk to leave Hoddesdon 56-3.

But that was as good as it got as Will Steward (86*) and Todd Sturdy (74*) added 170 together to take Hoddesdon to a total of 226-3.

Letchworth's reply began positively as Will Aitkenhead and David Sprittles put on 65 for the first wicket before Sprittles was run out for a patient 11.

Aitkenhead reached his 50 before being caught at cover but Pipe and Nathan Sprittles kept the progress up to have Letchworth well-placed at 106-2 by half-way.

But Pipe was dismissed for 32 and when Sprittles went lbw for 47 Letchworth still needed 62 at more than a run a ball.

And with boundaries hard to come by the hosts struggled to keep up with the rate and finished 212-7, losing by 14 runs.

The second team also lost at Northchurch by three wickets.

Matt Bridge made 32 and Callum McGlynn 38 as Letchworth were all out for 152 and despite wickets being shared around, the home side reached the total.

The thirds were beaten by the weather and the fourths also suffered with a 112-run defeat at Old Michendenians.

However, the fifths stopped the rot by securing a seven-wicket win over Hatfield & Crusaders.

Pete Glazebrook took four wickets and Jack Craig and Richard Stewart saw them home.

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