Hemel Town I stormed to a 10-wicket win over Herts League Premier Division title contenders Potters Bar I.
The result consolidates Hemel’s position at fourth in the table after what was, potentially, a hard away game.
Putting Potters in, after 28 overs Hemel had them at 73-6 as Brett Penny (2-29), Steve Reader (3-38) and Brad Finch (3-33) blitzed them.
A long 66 from Ben Taylor for Potters saw them to some safety, but not safe enough as Hemel proved.
Penny (118 n/o) and skipper Hemish Ilangaratne (52 n/o) took just 33 overs to see off the required 179 runs to give Hemel a crushing win.
This was the highest opening partnership for Hemel I since the same pair put on 181 away at North Mymms in 2010, which remains the bet start for the side in the last 15 years.
Hemel Town II came out on top in a local derby with Abbots Langley I.
Put in by Abbots, Hemel made it to 176 all out with 31 from Jon Pearson, 27 from Suren Perera and 26 from Chris Blunt. Steve Wallis had the best bowling return for Abbots with 6-53.
But that was not as good as the 8-40 that Bryan Davies returned for Hemel as they bowled Abbots out for 156.
It was the best bowling of the season for any Hemel side, beating the 8-48 from Tony Beamish in early June.
Hemel nip back up to fourth in Division Two, while Abbots remain in 19th spot.
Hemel Town III slipped to their second defeat in two games having batted first and then failing to bowl the opposition out.
Hemel got to 209-9 thanks largely to 92 from Will Langley, helped along the way by 41 from Scott Radcliffe.
But Hemel’s bowlers were not able to repay the gift. 93 from Barry Turner and 52 from Adam Shelley saw Preston II get to their total comfortably in 43 overs. Figures of 3-33 from Rory Fraser were the best Hemel return.
After a spell of three victories at the beginning of June, Hemel Town IV made it five games without a win as they went down at home to Met Police Bushey II.
Put in by Met Police, only 59 from Mike Samuels and 28 from Ben Dumpleton were scores of any note as Hemel struggled to 170 all out.
Met Police, who are below Hemel in Division 8, then proceeded to see off the runs in 36 overs with little trouble. 2-32 from Rishi Shah was the best Hemel bowling return.
Jay O’Nien hit a fine 200 as Hemel Sunday I saw off Ickenham Town I by 91 runs.
His knock included 16 fours and 11 sixes, while Brad Finch hit 85 as the pair put on 185 for the fourth wicket.
That helped Hemel to a total of 357-7, and Finch then took 3-37 and Billy May snared 2-50 as Hemel cantered home.
> Leverstock Green
An excellent 77 not out from vice-captain Lee Littlejohn helped Leverstock Green II to a five-wicket win at home to Hertford III and put them within four points of Division Five leaders Harpenden III.
Skipper Dayle Littlejohn elected to bowl first and took 7-66 himself as the visitors were skittled for 143 all out.
The brothers then came together at the crease with Levy five down and still needing more than 90 to win.
Lee’s 14 fours and one six during his 62-ball unbeaten knock came in contrast to Dayle’s studious 28 n/o from 41 balls as they steered Green to victory.
Karl Turner rescued an innings in decline for Leverstock Green III, who beat Sandridge II by 24 runs.
His 44 not out – supported by Steve May (20) – steered Levy from 51-7 to 119 all out.
While the batting woes continue, it was Levy’s bowling and fielding that pulled them through. Sharp catches throughout, including three more than required from no-balls, gave great support to front-line seamer Brett Baney who picked up 6-32.
May, Turner and Chrishan Casey also chipped in to remove the visitors for less than 100 in securing an unlikely 30 points.
Leverstock Green I were second-best in all departments at Northchurch, who won convincingly by seven wickets thanks largely to 105 from Werner Labuschagne.
Kyle Claxton struck a patient 53, captain Dave Tyson 38 and Lewis Koch 31 as Green ran up what looked at least a competitive 175 all out, however poor bowling and fielding – allied to confident stroke-play from Labuschagne and Tom Garraway (59) – saw the target reached in just 30 overs.
With results elsewhere, Levy slip to a point behind leaders St Margaretsbury in second, while Northchurch move into eighth.
Charlie Cooke’s five-wicket haul was the highlight for Leverstock Green IV who slipped to a 77-run defeat at Kings Langley IV. See below.
Berkhamsted I won their third consecutive match on Sunday against table toppers Bishop’s Stortford II in a rain-affected match.
Despite losing three quick wickets, Ollie Chinneck (61) and Chad Fortune (51) rebuilt the Berko innings, leaving them to post a competitive score of 158 all out in bowler friendly conditions.
In reply, Berko were ruthless with the ball, and Fortune followed up his 50 by taking 5-44. With good support from Riaz Richards (4-19), they dismissed the away side for just 97.
Berkhamsted II won their fourth game out of five on Saturday with a three-wicket win away to Bushey II.
Despite the top-three Bushey batsmen putting on more than 100, the Berko bowlers did well on a lifeless track to chip away at the middle order and eventually restricted Bushey to 185-9 from their allotted overs. Skipper Ian Merrett was the pick of the bowlers with 2-26.
In reply, Berko quickly lost both openers, but Luke Frey (35) steadied the ship before the match-winning partnership from youngsters George Lewarne (53 n/o) and Rob Prunty (31) guided them home, leaving Berko eyeing a second straight promotion.
Berkhamsted III were blown away by Watford III on Saturday, collapsing initially to 7-5 before recovering somewhat to reach 107.
Watford found batting less treacherous in reply and won at a canter.
Meanwhile, Berkhamsted are hoping for a big crowd at their second annual Captain v Coach T20 clash tonight (Wednesday).
The teams will play in coloured kits with a pink ball and black stumps, ensuring an exciting spectacle.
Teams have been decided in an IPL-style auction, and include first XI squad members as well as the club’s most promising juniors.
The event is open to all, and will feature a barbecue, drinks specials, and a raffle.
> Kings Langley
Kings Langley I gave a good account of themselves as they had the better of the draw against second placed Dunstable in Herts League Division One.
Kings batted first and posted a commanding score of 246-9, with Paul Ashford continuing his good form by scoring 103. There were also good contributions from Harry Sambrook (35) and Mark Brazier (25).
Dunstable were in trouble in reply at 22-4, but a 126-run partnership between Luke Cherry (69) and Bradley Matthews (55) frustrated the Kings bowlers and they played out a draw, finishing on 181-7. Kings’ Matt Wells was the pick of the bowlers, taking 5-29.
Kings Langley II won a Division Six derby with Abbots Langley II in nail biting fashion – winning by one wicket with one ball to spare.
Abbots scored 188-9 off their 53 overs, with skipper Mick Rueth (34) and veteran Dave Carlisle (30) making a half century stand.
Mark Bishop (27) and Tom Carson (28), smashed 30 from the last five overs to take Abbots to 188-9.
For Kings, Duanne Smith took 5-67 and Tom Clark, Richard Whitlock and Josh Oldham took a wicket each.
In reply, Nigel Barlow scored 42 and Mike Cooke hit 35, before Smith (29 n/o) hit the winning boundary.
Andrew Rueth (3-37) and Nikal Hirani (2-34) bowled tightly for Abbots, while Chris Theaker picked up two late wickets.
Kings Langley III maintained third place in Division Nine by securing a draw against second placed Little Berkhamsted Sahibs who scored a rapid 239-5s.
Scott Rolfe and Toby Hendy took two wickets each, before Logan Turner (80), Russell Knights (40) and Dave Barton (39) kept Kings in the hunt but they finished their overs on 219-8.
Kings Langley IV scored an emphatic win over Leverstock Green IV in Division Twelve West, triumphing by 78 runs.
Kings posted a respectable score of 202-7 off 45 overs with Warwick Smith scoring 74 n/o, Dave Barton (59) and Tony Thompson (30). Charlie Cooke’s five-wicket haul was the highlight for Levy.
Green struggled against tight bowling and were dismissed for 124 in the 37th over, despite contributions from Cooke (21) Dave Cardy (31) and Lewis Glasscoe (22). Tony Thompson (4-31) was the pick of the Kings bowlers.
Kings won through to this year’s County Trophy semi-final by the slender margin of two runs.
Kings batted first against Division Three side Hatfield Hyde and were dismissed for 131 with Sam Joyce top scoring with 27.
Paul Ashford hit 19, while Matt Wells and David Burnell both scored 18 valuable runs.
Kings then had their visitors in trouble at 24-5, before a spirited fight-back from Hatfield fell just short of their target, leaving a jubilant and relieved Kings savouring victory.
Mark Brazier claimed 3-18 and there were two wickets for Matt Wells as they spearheaded their team’s win. Kings now play Botany Bay at home on Sunday, August 17.
> Abbots Langley
Abbots Langley I fell to another disappointing defeat against Hemel Hempstead II on Saturday, which sees them struggling in the bottom two of Division 2 – see above for full report.
Abbots Langley II lost a thrilling game against local rivals Kings Langley II by one wicket and with only one ball left in the match – see above for full report.
Abbots Langley III played out a really stalemate against North Mymms III.
Batting first on a difficult wicket, Abbots struggled to 43-4 after 23 overs and 102-7 after 39 overs.
With only Lee Rossiter (31) and Jamie Denyer (25) looking comfortable, Abbots finally managed to get to 144-9 at the end of their 53 overs.
Mymms didn’t find things any easier in reply as Paresh Solanki (4-38) and Bob Russell (2-36) bowled well.
Abbots couldn’t force the win as Mymms played out a miserable draw on 122-8 after 47 overs.
Abbots Langley IV couldn’t quite see off Frogmore II, and had to settle for a draw.
Batting first, Abbots relied on a fine knock of 72 n/o from James Allan and 35 from Tom Ruxton Jnr, to reach a competitive score of 183-9 off 47 overs.
Dan Gurney then had Abbots in sight of victory with 4-35, but Frogmore batted out a dull draw, finishing on 158-7 off 43 overs.