Preston pick up a good haul

Saracens Herts League A much improved Preston performance saw them take 19 points from their draw with Northchurch in a damp overcast game in Division Two. Losing the toss and being asked to bat first, Preston made steady progress to 101-4 by the 30th ove

Saracens Herts League

A much improved Preston performance saw them take 19 points from their draw with Northchurch in a damp overcast game in Division Two.

Losing the toss and being asked to bat first, Preston made steady progress to 101-4 by the 30th over, ideally placed to attack the remaining 23 overs with wickets in hand.

Excellent batting from Adam Shelley (39), Richard Gatehouse (30) and Indika (48) laid Preston's batting foundations and with a late cameo from Andy Riant (37) they finished their overs on 206-9.

Electing to open with the old ball, Preston soon found themselves taking wickets at regular intervals, with Mark Waters (12-3-50-3) the pick.

With the top order removed and the strong middle order making batting look easy, the new ball was taken.

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Anthony Ender removed the dangerous Broughton for an excellent 54 and then the decision to take the pace off the ball with Riant bowling in tandem with Catlin saw Preston nearly snatch victory.

Northchurch went all out for victory with Catlin returning the excellent figures of 5-1-11-4 as the innings closed on 192-9.

Preston seconds travelled to Old Camdenians and gained a draw in Division Six.

On a compact ground, the home side amassed 262-9 in 53 overs. Ben Burrows (2-53) and Andy Braithwaite (2-50), plus three run outs, the main contributors.

The home side did not consider an early declaration to give Preston more chance of reaching the total.

Simon Luxton set about the target with a splendid 68 backed up by consistent John Garnham who made 33.

A middle order collapse meant Preston had to settle for the draw, finishing on 177-6 and claiming a respectable 12 points.

Ickleford were undone by a combination of unfortunate circumstances in a rain-affected away day at Bayford and Hertford in Division Four.

The home side failed to turn up on time for the start which, combined with intermittent showers, meant that eight overs a side were lost.

Ickleford struggled to stem the flow of runs, although James Robinson and Rob Horner bowled tidily, with Bayford finishing on 250-7 from 45 overs.

Chasing an unlikely 251 to win from just 39 overs, Ickleford started brightly but the demanding run rate cost several top order wickets.

Robinson (39) and Sam Giggle came together and put on 63 for the fifth wicket before Robinson was stumped.

Giggle continued his brisk innings, making a season's best 57 from 49 balls, before he also was stumped.

Horner followed up his tight bowling with 36no at the close.

When the umpires called the players off for rain, Ickleford had made a respectable 187-6 from 35.4 overs.

The seconds enjoyed a fantastic win against Elstree 2nds with the last pair at the wicket.

Jim Hollis took 4-24 as Elstree set Ickleford 147 to win.

This seemed unlikely as Ickleford slumped to 67-7 but partnerships of 33 and 38 for the eighth and ninth wickets put them back in contention.

Mike Davies (31), Joe Wellstead (30) and Hollis (23no) were the heroes as they won with three overs to spare.

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