The last Herts League Premier Division game of the season for Hemel Town I ended in a comfortable win over Letchworth to see them finish in fifth position – one place off a playoff spot.
Put in by Letchworth, Brett Penny (40) and Hem Ilangaratne (27) put on 77 for the first wicket, but there were not many impressive scores from Hemel players to follow.
Knocks of 36 from Gareth James and 31 from Jay O’Nien were the best as Hemel made it to 204 all out in 46 of their 50 overs.
Hemel’s bowling meant business, though, with O’Nien removing opener Nathan Sprittles with his fourth ball and Penny dismissing Will Bates and Tim Graham in his first over.
That meant that after two overs Letchworth were 5-3, and they were eventually dismissed for 166 to give Hemel a last game win by 38 runs.
With last week’s conquerors North Mymms losing at Bishop’s Stortford, Hemel moved back above them to finish fifth.
After a rocky couple of weeks, Hemel Town II got their act back together with a convincing win against bottom side Baldock.
Batting first, Hemel made it to 201-6 and declared after 50 overs as skipper Graham Clark rediscovered some form with a score of 51 and Matt Potton made a rare appearance to score 63.
At the end, Tom Waterton saw Hemel to the 200 mark with 39 not out.
Opening bowler Billy May then removed the Baldock opener Dupuy with the first ball of Hemel’s bowling reply.
There was no respite for Baldock as May turned in 3-15, fellow opener Adam Moulster took 2-32 and then Richard Morton (4-14) and Bryan Davies (1-4) wrapped up the tail.
Baldock were eventually all out for a meagre 70 in just 24 overs.
It was a tight run thing as Hemel Town III sneaked in with a win in Division Five with one ball and one wicket to go against Hatfield & Crusaders II.
Batting first, the Crusaders crawled along to 167-5 in their 53 overs as tight bowling from the experienced Phil Freebrey ended with figures of 14-7-16-1.
Only a sixth wicket stand of 89 saved things for Hatfield, and their bowlers soon had the Hemel batsmen in trouble.
Chris Nuttall managed 36 at number 3 in the order and Gus Scott-Morriss hit 36 at number 10, but there were no other double figure scores for Hemel except for 64 n/o from skipper Anjam Khan.
The captain shepherded Hemel to win with last man Rory Fraser (4 n/o) with one ball to spare.
With the other three sides winning, Hemel Town IV could not match them and took a bit of a drubbing from Sawbridgeworth III in Division Eight.
The result leaves Hemel perilously close to relegation, only 15 points clear of the drop zone.
Batting first, Hemel’s batsmen really had no answers to the Sawbridgeworth bowling; Owen McGinty was the top scorer with 29 and Dean Breed with 22 was the only other batsmen to make over 20 runs.
Sawridgeworth then took just 22 overs to see off the necessary runs. Rishi Shah with 1-28 managed the only Hemel wicket.
Hemel Town Sunday I remained level on points with Radlett at the Top of CVL Division One after recording a four-wicket win over Chesham.
Bowling first, Hemel restricted Chesham to a total of 186 all out, before reaching the target in 34 overs for the loss of six wickets.
Both Hemel and Radlett have one game of the season left to play, with Radlett only top on run rate calculation.
Hemel will be targeting a big win over Holtwhites Trinibis next Sunday as they look to leapfrog Radlett to the title.
> Kings Langley
Although Kings Langley I lost to Botany Bay by seven wickets, they secured enough points to maintain their Division One status.
Batting first, Kings were in trouble at 61-5 but Ricky Mohamed (63) helped to stage a recovery as they reached 185-9 in their 53 overs.
Good contributions also came from Andrew Burnell (29 n/o), Mark Brazier (27) and Matt Wells (25 n/o).
Botany Bay soon got on top of the Kings bowlers but were reduced to 69-3.
It was left to opener K Harris (93 n/o) and D Kastelik (57 n/o) to put on 117 to see their team to victory.
Burnell took 2-29 and Wells snared 1-36 for Langley.
Kings Langley II secured a 125-run victory over Botany Bay II in Division Six by scoring 230 all out.
Tom Clark top scored with 52 and other good contributions came from Andrew Colquhoun (46), Richard Whitlock (34), Kevin Rolfe (30) and Rob Clark (25 n/o).
Kings then bowled their visitors out for 103 in the 26th over, with Rob Clark claiming 4-24, Radleigh Tant 2-14, Ben Joyce 2-32 and a wicket each for Richard Whitlock and Duane Smith.
Kings Langley III slipped to a seven-wicket defeat at the hands of Old Elizabethans II and are now realistically out of the Division Nine promotion hunt.
Kings scored a disappointing 125 all out in 41 overs, with only David Burnell giving any resistance as he scored 30.
The under-strength bowling attack were no match for the home team as they coasted home.
Berkhamsted I won their eighth game in a row on Saturday to push them further up the Division Four table.
Batting first on a slow track, Berko posted a below par score of 132 all out, with the two significant contributions coming from Doug Foster (30) and Ollie Chinneck (34).
However this did not deter the confident Berko attack, and Chad Fortune starred with the ball to claim club best figures of 7-31.
That helped Berkhamsted to bowl out Ampthill Town II for just 107.
Berkhamsted II saw their late promotion push finally came to a spectacular end on Saturday after hosting divisional champions elect, Hatch End.
Berko were skittled out for a dismal 56, which Hatch End polished off easily for the loss of only one wicket.
Berkhamsted III won their last game of the season away at St Albans in a devastating manner.
Having posted a moderate 144 all out – after recovering from 56-6 thanks to Stephen Parnell’s well crafted 45 – Jack Hunter (4-12) and Charles Richardson (5-14) destroyed the St Albans batting, leaving them 36 all out.
Berko have now finished in the top half of the division and avoided dropping down after next season’s divisional splits.
In a remarkable game of cricket on Sunday, Berkhamsted Sunday I hosted Ashridge Coopers in a game that ended as a tie.
Coopers posted a competitive total of 224 in their 40 overs, and in reply Berko put themselves in a commanding position with Gareth Preedy (81) and Mark Lewarne (46) contributing decent knocks.
However, needing only four to win in 10 balls with three wickets remaining, Berko collapsed and lost their last wicket having posted the same score of 224.
> Abbots Langley
Abbots Langley I secured their position above the relegation places with a fantastic win against Met Police on Saturday.
Batting first, they were in all sorts of trouble and, at 55-5, things looked bleak.
However, last minute replacement Michael Burgess stood firm and powered his way to a belligerent 61.
Helped by Mat Dunstone (17) and Jack Bishop (17), Abbots eventually mustered a modest 158 on a good track.
Met Police were equally adrift early on, but Abbots let them back into the game, before Steve Wallis (2-38) and Jimmy Davies (2-18) swung the game back Abbots’ way.
It all ended in a frantic finish, with Met Police needing 13 to win with two wickets in hand and two overs to go.
Enter skipper Dunstone, who finished with 5-54 to bring Abbots to a hard earned victory, and safety, by three runs.
Abbots Langley II lost their fourth game in a row, going down to Rickmansworth II by 42 runs.
Ex-Abbots player Jon Cox came back to haunt them with a fine 94, as Rickmansworth reached 208-8.
Abbots’ best bowler was George Aguis (3-43), with Lewis Hodgins and Jerry Graves both picking up two wickets apiece.
When Abbots batted, they lost wickets regularly with only Kuldip Hayer (40), and Nakul Hirani (33), able to make an impression on the Ricky bowlers. They were eventually all out for 166.
Abbots Langley III lost against London Colney II by two wickets in a closely fought match.
Lee Rossiter continued his good season with a quick 53 and, along with Reza Khan (36), held things together for Abbots as they reached 167 all out.
Rossiter took two early wickets to put Abbots in charge, and Bob Russell then bowled well for his 3-28 to take Abbots close to the win.
But a late charge by London Colney bought them the win instead, in a tense finish.
Bovingdon travelled to Dunstable III on Saturday and secured a dramatic win in the final overs to keep their promotion hopes alive.
Dunstable were restricted to 147 all out thanks to some fine swing bowling from J Arakaraj (4-44), while Buttleman and Baxter top scored in the Bovingdon innings,
But a middle order collapse saw G Fayers come of age to steer Bovingdon to a victorious 148-7 with 14 balls to spare.
> Leverstock Green
An extraordinary set of results means Leverstock Green II will have their Saracens Herts League Division Five title chances in their own hands on the season’s final day – after picking up just six points at home to Radlett III.
Imran Iqbal took 6-50 from 17.3 overs to help keep Radlett III to 161 all out at The Green; the kind of target Levy II have been knocking off in comfort all summer.
But six wickets fell for just 29 runs in reply, leaving Nahim Iqbal (36) stranded in the middle order.
Green ended on 141-9, some 20 runs short of victory, to claim six points having inserted their visitors.
But amazingly, helpful results from elsewhere kept Dayle Littlejohn’s team top of the pile – and now it’s up to them to ice the promotion cake by winning the league at relegated Knebworth Park III at the weekend.
Nearest pursuers Harpenden III picked up just five points as they crashed to a 14-run defeat Watford Town II, while third-placed Flitwick II were skittled for 76 at Bentley Heath – picking up only six bowling bonus points.
Elsewhere, it’s turning into a forgettable end to the season for Green’s first and third XIs.
Playing host to the 1s at Cobden Hill, Radlett II posted 249-5 dec from 51 overs.
In reply, Nick Merrett’s unbeaten 56 was the highlight – along with creditable top-order contributions from Lewis Koch, Ashi Ali, and Kyle Claxton – as Green were dismissed for 197 in the game’s penultimate over.
Elsewhere, Parmiter’s School bore witness to yet another Levy III batting collapse.
Electing to bat first, Green made just 57 all out -–Chrishan Casey’s 17 the highest contribution. Little Berkhamsted Sahibs lost just one wicket in knocking off the meagre target.