Saints halt a Letchworth victory March

Letchworth GC missed yet another chance of victory at league leaders St Albans where a dismal fielding performance allowed the home side far too many runs. St Albans won the toss and elected to bat and veteran Phil Caley got the home side off to a quick s

Letchworth GC missed yet another chance of victory at league leaders St Albans where a dismal fielding performance allowed the home side far too many runs.

St Albans won the toss and elected to bat and veteran Phil Caley got the home side off to a quick start, scoring 25 of the first 27 runs before being caught by Simon Elliott off Richard Barclay and with Ed Morse also picking up two wickets, St Albans were struggling at 59-3.

However, a string of dropped catches allowed Yasir Arafat and Surrey and former Stevenage star Murty Hussein to recover the situation.

Arafat was eventually leg before to Dom Marsh for 35 and then Hussein was bowled by Andy Newland for 56, but the damage was done.

Letchworth still had a chance to keep St Albans below 200 at 177-8 but an unbeaten stand between Sharp (34no) and O'Toole (20no) helped them finish on 211-8 off their 53 overs.

Newland finished with 3-55, Morse 2-34 and Marsh 2-92.

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Letchworth made a disastrous start, with a rare failure by Tom Cranston and another controversial dismissal for Seb Franke-Matthecka, this time a catch at mid-on which appeared not to have carried.

With Tom Simmons also falling cheaply, the Garden City found themselves 21-3, but then a good stand of 63 between Elliott and Steve March pulled things around.

Elliott was eventually caught off Hussein who was proving very difficult to score off, particularly with some negative field settings.

March was then joined by Dave Albon and they added 58, with Albon taking the attack to Hussein effectively.

The return of Arafat to the attack ended any chance of a Letchworth victory as he had March caught at cover for 62 and then Albon caught behind for 44 off the penultimate ball.

Barclay faced the last ball and hit a four through one of the four fielders still on the boundary to earn another batting point on 170-6. Arafat finished with 4-50.

* The second XI faced a strong Eversholt side at Whitethorn Lane and did well to come out with 14 points.

A good opening stand between Dom Chatfield (40) and Darren Curry (33) was then followed by a mini collapse but a good stand between skipper Brian Mebourne (50) and Richard Gillham (28) helped them reach 204-8 off their 53 overs.

It was never going to be enough against a powerful Eversholt batting line-up and they won comfortably by six wickets despite two wickets from Adam Booth.

A second wicket stand of 165 between Sarbjit Chahal (113) and Josh Furness (66) laid the foundation for the third team's 220-7 declared off 47 overs at Hertford, who were never in the hunt once Colin Croucher (3-63) had removed the early batsmen and then a remarkable spell of 5-8 from Michael Turner finished them off for 123.

The fourth XI lost narrowly to St Albans at Fairfield Park, making 185 thanks to veteran Mike Fernando (36), Ben Smith (35) and Ed Smith (27no) before losing by two wickets with Ed Smith taking 4-47.

The fifth XI continued their excellent form at Leverstock Green making 260-3 declared off 43 overs, with Phil McEvitt (96no), Henry Robinson (60) and skipper Jerry Gillham (50) leading the way.

The home side were dismissed for 165 with Dan Roberts taking 3-21 and Aujla 3-14.

Hitchin slumped to 70 all out against St Margaretsbury in the Saracens Herts League Division One. They were chasing just 150 to win.

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