Tring Park I and Hemel Hempstead Town I met in a 40-over friendly match to get the 2014 season under way – with Tring emerging victorious.
Hemel won the toss and elected to bat and, after a couple of early wicket losses, new player Adam Winchester from Wheathampstead got himself going with 46 – putting on 81 for the third wicket with Gareth James who went on to get 52.
A quick-fire 38 from Josh Graves saw Hemel onto 205-7, at a run rate of just over five an over.
But it was not enough as Tring, showing their remaining HCPL Division One class, raced to a winning score of 206-8 with five and a half overs to spare. Brad Finch with 2-31 and Brett Penny with 2-51 were the leading Hemel wicket takers, while Gareth James (1-27) and Parth Mehta (1-35) picked up one each.
While the first XI were getting well beaten at Tring, Hemel II were doing the opposite at home and comprehensively beating the Tring seconds.
There were similar scores between Hemel sides batting first, with Hemel II scoring 206-4 in their innings.
Matt Potton, returning to cricket after a year off, scored 71 to lead the way, while 32 from skipper on the day Steve Smith was the next best.
Jim Langley, with sons Will Langley and Jim Langley alongside, chipped in with 25 not out.
Hemel’s bowling then proved the key with all of the top six bowlers getting wickets, led by Anjam Khan with 3-27. Figures of 2-12 for Will Langley and 2-22 for Ed Langley completed a 66-run win and a good day for the Langley family.
Meanwhile, Abbots Langley I started their 2014 season with a comfortable eight-wicket friendly win over near neighbours Chipperfield on Saturday.
Put into bat on a surprisingly sunny day, Chipperfield struggled throughout against the pace of George Aguis who took 5-28, as they crumbled to 93 all out. Mat Dunstone (2-6) and Nick Gurney (2-4) completed the wicket taking.
Abbots then cruised to the win, with the returning Blesson Ghoghe (48 not out) and Peter Metcalfe (16) finding early season form.
Abbots Langley II completed the win double over Chipperfield with a five-wicket win.
Lewis Hodgins (3-10) and new skipper Mick Rueth (3-6) took the honours, as Chips were bowled out for 117.
Abbots didn’t have it all their own way but young Harry Khan batted really well in scoring a fine 71 not out and, along with Jack Bishop (15), took Abbots to a deserved victory.