Letchworth win off the last ball
Letchworth grabbed 30 points off the last ball of the match against Hitchin in a nailbiting finish to Saturday s local derby at Whitethorn Lane. With all the other results going in their way, they now find themselves in second place with one game to go. A
Letchworth grabbed 30 points off the last ball of the match against Hitchin in a nailbiting finish to Saturday's local derby at Whitethorn Lane.
With all the other results going in their way, they now find themselves in second place with one game to go.
A victory this Saturday at confirmed champions Millhillians would see Letchworth promoted along with them.
This was an unlikely scenario before Saturday's round of games.
On a blustery, damp day, Letchworth skipper Colin Letford won the toss and elected to bat first. He and fellow opener Simon Elliott found it hard going against Hitchin skipper Dave Moore and Danny Fair with the new ball.
But it was Andy Hicks who struck first, bowling Elliott in his first over.
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Runs were hard to come by and Letchworth had only reached 38-1 off their first 20 overs.
Batting gradually became easier and Letford was just getting into his stride and had reached 27no when he was forced to leave the game due to a family bereavement.
Steve March took over at the crease and together with Richard Walsh built a good platform before a mix-up led to Walsh being run out for 40.
When March holed out at long on for 38 trying to up the scoring rate, Letchworth looked as though they might fail to post a good target.
But debutant Gurdeep Jandu hit a breezy 31no in a stand of 46 with Tom Cranston (14) and Letchworth reached their full bonus points off the last ball of the innings, closing on 201-6.
Hicks bowled two good spells and finished with 4-36.
Acting skipper Richard Jerome decided against taking the new ball because it had become almost impossible to bowl any kind of pace into the gale.
Cranston was given this difficult job while Ed Morse had the wind and slope in his favour.
After a flying start by Craig Millwood and Moore, Morse comprehensively bowled Millwood for 15 and Cranston dismissed Fair cheaply thanks to a fine catch by young substitute Will Butler.
Morse then had Moore caught at cover to leave Hitchin on 60-3 but a good stand between Will Pugh (31) and Jimmy Lewis (33) put them ahead of the clock with wickets in hand.
Jerome brought himself on into the wind and soon had Pugh leg before.
Hicks kept the momentum going and it still looked odds-on a Hitchin victory.
The introduction of Jandu swung the game as he grabbed 3-12 in his seven-over spell to put Letchworth in command.
Jerome also picked up two wickets and Hicks was left to play out six overs with number 11 Chris Slack. Amid mounting excitement they looked as though they would comfortably save the game.
Morse came back for the last two overs and with the last ball of the match controversially trapped Hicks leg before for a fine 48. So the points vitally went to Letchworth who will go to Millhillians this weekend with a full squad for the first time for five weeks.
* Letchworth seconds were almost entirely indebted to skipper Graham Bishton for their total of 220-9 at Waltham Cross Rosedale. Bishton hit 135 with the next highest score being Sam Booth (22).
It was in vain as Letchworth's depleted attack could not contain the home side who cruised to a seven-wicket victory, Dominic Chatfield taking 2-32.
* The third XI reached 150 at Totteridge 2nds mainly thanks to 52 from Jerry Dovey but they also did not have enough bowling and Totteridge won by three wickets.
* The fourths, suffering badly from a general lack of availability, were no match for Cockfosters third XI and were all out for 98 before losing by nine wickets.