HEMEL Town suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of league-leaders Potters Bar in a top-of-the-table clash on Saturday.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Potters seemed in trouble at 132-6 after 40 overs.
However, wicket keeper Chris Swainland (53 n/o) and Marc Milligan (75) racked up a partnership of 123 in 18 overs to help the side to a total of 280-7.
Ifzal Nawal was the pick of the Hemel attack, ending with figures of 3-34.
In reply, Hemel took a while to get going, taking 22 overs to get to 69 runs.
And after Riccy Mohamed was dismissed for 38, the Town innings fell apart. Six wickets were lost in quick succession, with only skipper Hemish Ilangaratne (42) putting up any real resistance.
Liam Jahn (11) and Cameron Hutcheon (9 n/o) almost managed to secure an unlikely draw for Hemel, but the former was caught at the end of the 49th over.
Hemel Town II, however, put in a fine bowling display to pick up a draw with Broxbourne I.
Bryan Davies ended with figures of 5-62, while Phil Freebrey took 3-42 as Town restricted Broxbourne to 203-8 from their 53 overs.
In response, Hemel struggled against a strong attack, but Giles Berry’s 57 helped them to prevent defeat.
Meanwhile, there was disappointment for Hemel Town III as they suffered a shock defeat to bottom-placed Redbourn II.
Skipper Roger Doodson (3-35) and Abdul Samad (3-21) helped restrict Redbourn to a reachable target of 228, but a poor batting display put paid to Hemel’s chances of claiming the win.
John Clulow (76) top-scored for Town, but apart from Jim Langley (26) there were no other contributions of note, and Hemel finished 36 runs short.
Elsewhere, the fourth team were also beaten, as they were bowled out for just 116 by Ickleford III. Jim Birnie (35) and Fazal Noordeen (21) were the only Hemel batsmen to score more than 20 as the Hemel innings fell apart.
Ickleford then took just 22 overs to reach the target for the loss of three wickets.
And there was further disappointment for Hemel as the fifth XI were beaten by Old Owens III.
The Town innings started terribly, but Matt Bateman (36 n/o) and Chris Pearson (34) put on 72 for the last wicket to boost the total to 111.
The Hemel attack battled well, claiming six wickets, but Old Owens hit the winning runs with 40 overs gone.
Elsewhere, Hemel Town VI were comprehensively beaten by Mill Hill Village III.
Mill Hill won the toss and batted first, posting an intimidating total of 283-4 for Hemel to chase. Town were then dismissed by their table-topping opponents in 30 overs for 106 runs.
There was better news for Hemel’s Sunday second XI, however, as they cruised to victory over Preston II.
Preston batted first and posted a target of 206-9 from their 45 overs.
However, Hemel showed their batting class in reply and Neil Morgan (84) and Ram Hussein (52) and Jim Langley (43 n/o) helped them to reach the total for the loss of five wickets.