Park go back to the top

PUBLISHED: 11:12 21 August 2008 | UPDATED: 16:29 05 May 2010

Knebworth Park leapfrogged into top spot in Saracens Herts League Division One in a close match against bottom side Hoddesdon. They are now ahead of Letchworth GC, and with three matches remaining, all of the top seven harbour hopes of finishing in the to

Knebworth Park leapfrogged into top spot in Saracens Herts League Division One in a close match against bottom side Hoddesdon.

They are now ahead of Letchworth GC, and with three matches remaining, all of the top seven harbour hopes of finishing in the top two promotion slots. In their run-in the Park face the teams lying fourth, sixth and seventh, with the last two at home.

After winning the toss, Park captain Tony Skeggs decided to bat on what was to turn out to be a slow, low scoring wicket.

Openers Jarrod Turner and Ryan Skeggs made a steady, but slow start, putting on 65 in 23 overs, in just under an hour and a half.

Turner (30) was the first wicket to fall, when he nicked the ball on to his stumps off Hoddesdon captain Martin Brown.

This started a mini collapse, with Tony Skeggs leg before in the same over. Ryan Skeggs was run out for 27 and Phil Simpson fell second ball, also leg before to Brown, as suddenly Park were 75-4.

Steve Gregory progressed to a valuable 26 before lofting a catch to Jamie Curtis at mid-off for Brown's fourth wicket, with Park 126-6 with nine overs left.

Park slid to 128-8 but Sam McCrow, Charlie Randall and Paul Slade pushed the total up to 172 all out.

Opening bowler Slade picked up an injury while batting, Steve Large becoming the second sub fielder used by Knebworth this season.

With neither Slade nor Chris Brook (still injured) in operation for the first time this season, McCrow and Randall did a fantastic job opening the bowling.

McCrow removed both openers but the next 20 overs saw Rory Coutts and Craig Handy push the score on to 87 with still only two wickets down.

Park captain Tony Skeggs brought himself on to bowl for the first time since sustaining an injury in mid June, and almost immediately started to change the game in Knebworth's favour.

He trapped Handy leg before for 30 and in a 15-minute spell, 87-2 became 91-6, with Coutts watching from the other end as his team-mates fell all around him.

Rob Harcombe was caught by Ryan Skeggs to give brother Tony his fourth wicket, Hoddesdon 135-7.

Tony Skeggs and Turner claimed the unlikely victory for Park when between them they took the final three wickets.

Coutts finished unbeaten on 55 in Hoddesdon's 146 all out, with Skeggs 4-31 and Turner 3-41.

* The seconds collected 15 vital points with an encouraging performance away to Flitwick in their battle against relegation.

The core of the Park innings was a stand of 50 between Junior d'Abreu (42) and Alex Richmond (39) as they finished on 182-9.

Along with Richard Leather's two wickets, Jack Thorn, Bob Crowe and Adam Ezekiel made the home side struggle for runs with the last three wickets falling in the final eight balls.

Colin Letford bowled the final over - his first of the season - and his long hops picked up two wickets as Flitwick ended on 153-9.

The thirds, promotion contenders in Division Five, face a mountain to climb in the last three matches to achieve their goal.

They were left to rue the decision to bat first on a green wicket at Langleybury seconds. They were skittled out for only 52 and the home side then took only seven overs to coast to a 10-wicket win.

An impressive fielding performance gave the fourths a comfortable win over Allenburys.

Park restricted Allenburys to 144-8 in their 53 overs. Openers Mark Turner (52no) and Andrew Martin (67no) batted impressively in an unbroken stand of 146 to see the Park home to a convincing 10-wicket win.

The fifths crashed to defeat at high-riding Great Gaddesden who romped to a six-wicket win in reply to the Park's meagre 40 all out.

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