After a crunching 10-wicket victory at Potters Bar last week, Hemel Town I were brought back to earth with a dismal home defeat against Bishop’s Stortford in the Herts League Premier Division on Saturday.
Batting first, Hemel made a slow start, but recovered to 85-2 before falling away to 137 all out.
Brett Penny at the top made 56, but Josh Graves (21) and Adam Winchester (17) were the only others to get into double figures.
Stortford didn’t hurry to their win, but made it in comfort after 37 overs. Parth Mehta (2-52) and Brett Penny (1-24) were the Hemel wicket takers.
There was a big win for Hemel Town II against St Albans West Indian in Herts League Division Two as they moved up to second place, just six points behind leaders St Margaretsbury.
The Hemel side was rather depleted but Tom Elborn (104 n/o) and Tom Waterton (72) saw what was needed and came to the fore.
A 148-run partnership for the third wicket put Hemel on the front foot. Then it was a matter of chipping away at the wickets.
Billy May (2-35) took off the top, Matt Dale (2-46) took out the middle and Suren Perera (3-9) cleared out the tail to give Hemel a 70-run victory.
There was a third defeat on the trot for Hemel Town III as Leverstock Green II regained top position in Division Five.
Keith Glasscoe was the man for Levy, opening and scoring 83 not out as they put together 212-6. Adam Moulster returned the best figures for Hemel with 3-63.
In reply, Hemel’s top order were blown away by Imran Iqbal (4-37) and Sam Roberts (3-35).
There was a late order flurry from the Hemel batsmen, led by Phil Freebrey (38 n/o) and Adam Moulster (21), but it was too little too late and Hemel were all out for 139.
A very young Hemel Town IV side were easily dismissed by Bayford & Hertford II for a crushing defeat.
Put in by Bayford, Hemel were bowled out for just 77 with Barny Stalin scoring over half of them with 44.
The only other double figure score for Hemel was 13 from opener Mel Boughton. The Bayford openers then took 20 overs to see off the required runs.
Elsewhere, Hemel Town saw their dreams of becoming Herts T20 champions come to an end as they were beaten by Radlett in the semi-finals of the Readers County 20/20 Cup.
Radlett then went on to beat Bishop’s Stortford in the final to take the crown.
Meanwhile, Hemel Hempstead Town CC are gearing up for an action-packed Cricket Week which gets under way on Monday.
The fun-filled event – which runs until Friday, August 8 – will feature matches each day on the club’s Main Pitch and Nursery Pitch, as well as a variety of evening entertainment.
In addition, there will be a bar and a beer and wine tent open each day, as well as a bouncy castle and a barbecue each evening from 6.30pm to 9pm.
For further information, please call Graham Clark on 07887 623605.
> Abbots Langley
Struggling Abbots Langley I defied the odds and beat Division Two table toppers St Margaretsbury to claim only their second win of the season.
Jimmy Davies held the innings together with a patient 59 – including a stand of 35 with Blesson Ghoghe – before Will Graves (40 n/o) and Steve Wallis (25 n/o) put together a match winning partnership to lead Abbots to a deserved victory with three balls remaining.
Abbots Langley II fought a dour draw against Old Finchleans II to keep them in mid table in Division Six.
The Abbots bowlers struggled with line and length as Finchleans amassed 226-8, with only pace bowler Dan Roche achieving any satisfaction with 5-50.
The Abbots batsmen then found things difficult in their reply, against some tight bowling and fielding.
Mark Bishop (36) and Dave Carlisle (31) were the main run makers in a poor reply of 174-6, as Tom Carson (21) and Nick Gurney (20) played out the draw.
Abbots Langley III romped to an easy victory over second in the table Sandridge II, winning by 101 runs in Division Nine.
Batting first, Abbots got off to a slow start and had only 25 on the board with 16 overs gone, before slumping to 102-5.
In the end, though, a gritty 59 n/o from Gary Hyams and a quick-fire 31 n/o from Lee Rossiter saw Abbots to a respectable 175-9 declared.
In reply, Sandridge had no answer to the Abbots attack as Rossiter (4-17), Anish Khiroya (2-22) and Neel Patel (2-9) tore through their line up, and bowled them out for 74.
Abbots Langley IV recorded a good win over Harpenden VI by 39 runs.
Star of the show for Abbots was Ben Cornes, who hit a magnificent 101 n/o on his first game back after a break of six years.
He, along with Aiden Hinks (30) and Scott Nixon (25 n/o) saw Abbots to 205-5.
Harpenden then went on the attack in the reply and had Abbots worried as they raced to 70-1 off 12 overs.
But the introduction of spinner Scott Nixon (5-25), changed things dramatically, as he and Cameron Khan (3-35) took Abbots to the win.
> Kings Langley
Kings Langley I slipped to a disappointing defeat away to Division One bottom club Holtwhites Trinibis, losing by two wickets.
Kings scored 232-7 in 50 overs, with Ricky Mohamed hitting 71 and Shandy Ratnakuran 51 in a 99-run partnership.
Duncan Fleming had earlier scored 28 and Mark Brazier chipped in with 27.
Steady batting from the Holtwhites top order, in particular opener Habib Younis with 81, saw them to 177 when they lost their fourth wicket.
They were wobbling on 207-8, but Dan Bonner (14 n/o) and Abdul Mateen (15 n/o) ensured Holtwhites won the day. Mark Brazier took 3-79, Ben Joyce 2-31, Matt Wells 2-61 and Ricky Mohamed 1-27.
Boxmoor II won a Division Six derby by a convincing margin of 129 runs against Kings Langley II.
Batting first, Boxmoor were boosted by a quick-fire 104 by Eran Kasthirukaakam, with Aidan Pimm (48), Richard Crowther (34), Alex Dukes (27) and Ross Bargent (23) adding to the run-fest.
Kings never threatened to reach their target and were all out for 134 in the 35th over, with only Richard Whitlock scoring 28 in his usual swashbuckling style.
Young Scott Rolfe once again showed his big potential with 23 on his debut for the second team.
Andy Price, Neil Dudley and Richard Crowther all claimed two wickets for Boxmoor.
Kings Langley III closed the gap on second place in Division Nine with a 22-run victory over Leverstock Green III.
Kings scored a modest 190 all out with Tom Templton (31) and Minesh Patel (30) top scoring for Kings.
Levy Green then fell short of their target, with Kings’ Mark Walker taking 5-33.
Kings Langley IV collected a comfortable win over local rivals Boxmoor IV in Division 12 West, triumphing by six wickets.
Boxmoor batted first and were bowled out for 113 in the 40th over. Mike Newland (23), John Scott (23 n/o) and Nick Cotterell (16) were the only batsmen to reach double figures.
Roy Barter (2-5), Tony Thompson (2-5) and Barry Harding (2-34) were the main wicket takers for Kings and they were backed up by some good catches in the field.
Kings lost an early wicket in reply but opener Tony Thompson (30) and Warwick Smith (50) saw them to within sight of victory when both were dismissed.
It was left to Barry Harding to guide them to home in the 25th over.
Berkhamsted I travelled to Hertingfordbury in confident mood and duly made it a fourth consecutive win in Division Four.
Losing the toss on a sweltering day with three short boundaries, the Hertingfordbury top order made good use of the track and slowly built the foundations of what was looking like a good score.
With the seamers ineffective, Berko captain Dave Smith turned to veteran spinner Steve Dight and club coach Riaz Richards.
This had the desired effect of drying up the runs and putting pressure on the batsman, with some turn and assistance from the pitch.
With the Hertingfordbury top three prised out at 127-3, the new batsmen had no answer to the attack, and the home side capitulated to 146 all out with three overs remaining. Richards took 6-41 and Dight snared 3-41.
In reply, despite losing two wickets fairly cheaply, the match-winning partnership between Andrew Joyce (50) and Doug Foster (46) put Berko in firm control.
With help from James Wyatt (21 n/o), Berko ran out comfortable winners to pull further clear of the relegation dogfight.
Berkhamsted II won their fifth game from six by crushing Northwood Town II by nine wickets in Division Eight.
Rob Prunty (3-14) led the attack, with Romit Patel, George Lewarne and Jo Atkins all taking two wickets apiece as only two Northwood players reached double figures, eventually being skittled out for 84.
The Berkhamsted innings was short and sweet as Jamie Lewis (23) and Jack Filer (40 n/o) survived a couple of early scares to set up a straightforward win.
Lewis misjudged a two up the hill and was run out by an excellent turn and throw, but Luke Frey (12 n/o) and Filer finished off the job without further alarm.
With six games to go there could yet be a late charge for a second straight promotion.
Herts headed home from Lincolnshire celebrating a remarkable win in the Minor Counties Championship after a stunning last-wicket stand between 19-year-old all-rounder Tim Graham and 16-year-old spinner Ben Waring.
Herts skipper Nesan Jeyaratnam opted to bowl, and when Lincs were 133-6 his decision looked spot on.
But a crucial dropped catch gave Anish Patel a chance he made the most of by going on to score 133 as Lincs posted an above-par 290-9 in their 90 overs.
Hertfordshire’s reply could scarcely have begun worse, with Dave Lucas taking a hat-trick of Jeyaratnam, Hussain and Jamie Southgate to have Herts at 15-3.
Hamsa Qayyum made an excellent 51 off 70 balls, but it needed a strong performance from the lower order with Kazmi (20), Scott (30) and Kulkarni (20) digging in to get Herts up to 151 all out.
Lincs were huge favourites at this stage, with a big first-innings lead, and at 70-3 they looked like driving that advantage home.
Jeyaratnam then brought on his two left-arm spinners, Kazmi and Waring, and the game changed direction as rapidly as the ball as Lincs fell apart to be all out for 98.
Waring took a brilliant 3-9 off six overs and Kazmi notched a scarcely believable 4-3 off 7.1 overs.
That still left Herts an imposing 238 to win, and although they were batting decently enough they were losing wickets too regularly and ended the second day on 104-6.
When Herts then fell to 162-9 the game looked over.
But Waring and Graham refused to give in and gradually the impossible loomed on the horizon.
Graham led the way with a superb innings and Waring followed his example as Herts finally emerged very happy one-wicket winners.
Graham made 78 off 100 balls, while Waring faced 82 balls for his 23.