It was another busy weekend of action for cricket clubs across Dacorum, with Jack Blackburn making his mark for Bovingdon.
Bovingdon I continued their impressive start to the season with a 65-run victory over Northchurch II to maintain top spot in the division.
Bovingdon captain James Hazelton won the toss and had no hesitation in electing to bat on a decent looking pitch.
The opening partnership of Michael Buttleman and Jack Blackburn got off to a solid start, adding 113 for the first wicket before the former was dismissed for 40.
Ian Arnold (36) and Luke Stickland (39) both made valuable contributions, but the highlight of the innings was opener Blackburn’s 140, including 21 fours and two sixes.
An imposing total of 294-5 was always going to be difficult for Northchurch to chase and, despite an impressive opening stand of more than 50, they were always well behind the rate, eventually finishing on 229-9.
Nick Baxter (3-26) was the pick of the bowlers for Bovingdon, with Johnson making a good 50 for Northchurch.
Meanwhile, Bovingdon Sunday I’s friendly match with Ebury Strollers ended in a draw.
Ebury amassed 228-9 in the first innings, and Bovingdon got off to a good start thanks to a 70-run stand for the first wicket from Mark Carine and Michael Hatch (55).
The innings faltered after this start, and Bovingdon eventually ended up on 92-8.
Boxmoor I made a slow start to their innings as they were pegged back by some tight bowling from the Abbots Langley openers.
Brook Townsend was the only batsman to show any real fluency, making a rapid 62.
However, 170 all out was never enough on a pitch offering little to the bowlers and, with the help of a few missed chances in the field, Abbots were able to chase down the total for the loss of four wickets.
Boxmoor II came out on top in an exciting low scoring game at Blackbirds Moor, despite scoring what looked to be an under-par 111.
It was the second league win in as many weeks for Boxmoor, with an outstanding bowling display which had Holtwhite Trinibus under pressure from the very first over.
Stan Williamson (4-13) was ably supported by Jay Goodwin who took 2-6.
Boxmoor III also picked up a win on Saturday, at Wheathampstead III.
A tight bowling display from Boxmoor saw the hosts restricted to 187, with Aaron Hinton the pick of the bowlers with three wickets.
However, it was a comprehensive batting display, with three men into the 40s, that saw Boxmoor win by seven wickets.
Boxmoor Sunday I also enjoyed a fine victory over Potten End in a friendly match.
Adam Cullinane raced to a quick 66, before stand-in skipper Sam Stride helped his side to an impressive 247 with a measured 100 not out.
The visitors could only get to 170 in reply, with James Wade doing the damage with 4-43.
> Hemel Town
Given that Hemel Town I managed to keep Radlett down to 231-8 on Saturday, after they had amassed 323-4 last week against North Mymms, they must have felt quite pleased.
Unfortunately, that happiness cannot have lasted long as they were dismissed by Radlett for only 128 inside 30 overs.
After an 83 opening partnership from Fraser Crawford (34) and Kabir Toor (44) – both dismissed by Hemel’s Steve Reader – Radlett were somewhat dependent on 70 n/o from Shane Burger to hold their innings together.
As well as Reader’s 2-47, Parth Mehta was able to return 2-28 from his nine overs for Hemel.
But Burger then opened the Radlett bowling and, after he had bowled four overs, he had 3-11 and Hemel were 46-4.
Radlett then chipped through the Hemel innings; 32 from Sam Jenkinson was their highest score, while 24 from Brad Finch and 20 from Steve Reader at the foot of the innings were the only other contributions of note.
There was a bit of a change this week for Hemel Town II as, having seen off Cockfosters quite comfortably last week, they lost out in a much tighter game to Eversholt on Saturday.
Batting first, Eversholt soon had Hemel in trouble, and after 11 overs they were 20-4 with only Neil Morgan (24) of the top order remaining.
The wickets continued to tumble and it was only Bryan Davies (24) and Duncan Howard (25) at number 10 that saw them up to 129 all out.
Hemel made Eversholt struggle for their runs, and it was not until the 40th over that Eversholt got to 130-5. Charlie Hoskins, picking up 2-9 from his five overs was the best Hemel bowling return.
After bowling Radlett III out for just 133 at home, Hemel Town III must have thought that victory was there for the taking, along with 30 points.
Martin Botha had taken 4-38 from his 10 overs and Rory Fraser 3-28 from his 10.
But it was then a sorry batting tale as Hemel were dismissed for just 75. Suren Perera was the only batsman to make double figures with 21 runs, and even he couldn’t surpass extras with a score of 23.
There was a comprehensive drubbing by 180 runs for Hemel Town IV by Dunstable III.
Dunstable won the toss and batted to amass 257-8, with only Vinnie Liddar returning reasonable figures of 3-35 from his 10 overs.
And then it was an annihilation as Hemel were all out for just 77 in 25 overs. A knock of 29 from Barny Stalin was the best Hemel could offer.
> Leverstock Green
An extraordinary knock of 88 by Leverstock Green III number 9 batsman Olly Sawyer – more than treble his previous best – helped set up a 51-run win over Cockfosters III.
Sawyer put on 145 for a club-record eighth-wicket partnership with opener Graham Evans, who carried his bat through 50 overs for 65 not out as Green posted 180-9 from their 50 overs.
At 16-5 and then 18-7 from 18 overs, it’s fair to say Brett Baney’s team were in a spot of bother before the Sawyer and Evans rescue act.
In reply, Sawyer and Dave Cardy took three wickets apiece as the visitors were removed for 129.
Dayle Littlejohn’s Leverstock Green first XI made it two wins from two by beating Northchurch at The Green.
Electing to bat, opener Miles Barnard’s 59 and Littlejohn’s dogged 52 were the lynchpins of a target score of 198 all out from 49 overs.
Imran Iqbal (3-30) and Adam Thomas (3-32) were the pick of the Levy bowlers from their respective nine-over spells as Northchurch wickets fell regularly enough to leave the eventual 44-run victory rarely in doubt.
Ajit Kumar’s stunning 114-ball 84 was the only batting highlight for Leverstock Green II, who fell 16 runs short of Dunstable II’s 174 all out the picturesque Totternhoe venue.
Levy bowled with discipline and control for the first 35 overs of the hosts’ innings, with Ian Wallis taking 4-20 from eight overs. Sam Roberts (2-21) and Chrishan Casey (1-28) bowled best of the others.
In reply, early wickets lost set Green on their heels. Kumar, in at number 5, built a patient innings as wickets continued to fall. He put on 34 with number 8 Richard Walker (18) before a final-wicket stand of 52 with Casey offered hopes of an unlikely triumph.
It wasn’t to be, though, as Kumar edged to the wicketkeeper, leaving Levy tantalisingly short of the target and with only 14 bonus points to show for their efforts.
After Berkhamsted IV cried off, Leverstock Green IV enjoyed friendly action away to Potten End II – going down by just a single wicket after an evenly-matched contest with junior cricketers to the fore for both sides.
Veteran Andy Welch top-scored for Green with 28, and put on a decent partnership with number 4 Beck Tyson who struck 22 as Levy amassed 126 all out.
In reply, U13 Matt Gardner picked up three victims, while fellow juniors Jay Odedra, James Downes and Kaleem Saleem all took a wicket apiece.
Tyson chipped in with a couple of her own, but the hosts scrambled past the target score with nine down.
> Kings Langley
Kings Langley I saw their fine early season form come to a crashing halt with a poor all-round performance against Hitchin.
Kings opted to bat first with what should have been a deep batting line-up, but tight Hitchin bowling ripped through the Langley top order to leave the hosts struggling at 17-5.
Kings never recovered, with only overseas player Dan Donaldson (28) offering any resistance, and they were all out for a meagre 103.
Unfortunately for Langley, they failed to fare much better in the field and, despite taking an early couple of wickets, Hitchin coasted home with seven wickets to spare.
Kings Langley II were the success story of the day as they made it two wins from two with a 31-run victory over Botany Bay.
Having been put into bat, Kings lost an early wicket but went on to build a solid foundation thanks to 32 from young Scott Rolfe.
A patient innings from Andrew Colquhoun saw him hold the innings together, finishing on 73 no, while support from Tom Clark (28) and Matt Langston (16) resulted in Kings posting 196-6 from their 50 overs
In reply, Clark took two early wickets (2-31) to reduce Botany Bay to 8-2, and a steady fall of wickets throughout their innings resulted in them falling 31 runs short of victory.
Wickets were shared by Rob Clark (3-26), Rolfe (1-29), Oldham (2-27) and Smith (1-25) as an excellently disciplined performance saw Kings go to joint top of the table.
Kings Langley III continued their troubled start to the season as they fell to an emphatic six-wicket defeat away at Harpenden Dolphins.
Having struggled to 25-1 off 17 overs, Langley wickets started to tumble as the visitors could only muster 57 all out, with Tom Templeton finishing as top scorer on 18.
In reply, the home side made a shaky start, losing three early wickets while still in single figures.
However, 26 from B Giovanni and a patient 11 not out from Lewis were enough to get them over the winning line in the 26th over. Josh Lloyd (2-11) and Gordon Sambidge (9-4-9-1) were the pick of the Kings bowlers.
Kings Langley IV also had a bad day as Bushey scored a large total of 195 all out, with Hadi Ridzi getting 4-65 and Tony Thompson taking 3-14.
This was way too many for a KLCC side who were short of a full team, and they could only muster 58 with Thompson top scoring with 32.
> Chipperfield Clarendon
It was a disappointing day as Chipperfield Clarendon I lost to Hatfield Hyde.
Only Gary Wise with 36 troubled the scorers, as they ended up on 140 all out.
Hatfield Hyde had little trouble as they passed the total for the loss of seven wickets.
A weakened Chipperfield Clarendon second team suffered a heavy defeat to Shenley Village II.
Fielding first, only Saj Mahmood with 3-54 and Steve Durrant with 2-40 made any inroads as Shenley scored 271-6.
In reply, only Jon Paddon with 69 and Steve Durrant with 26 n/o offered any resistance as Chipperfield Clarendon were bowled out for 185.
Chipperfield Clarendon III won the toss and elected to field against Parkfield & Headstone III on a green and very grassy Hervines Park wicket
The bowlers were not able to repeat their early wicket taking exploits from the previous week although Matt Parrott caught and bowled the opener with the score on 60.
The bowlers generally were put to the sword, and a second wicket stand of 148 was only broken when Harry Sansom bowled the other opener – but not before he had plundered 119.
After a wayward opening spell, Sadaqat Bhatti returned to pick up two late wickets.
However, the star of the show was 13-year-old Haroon Mahmood, playing his first game for the third XI, who bowled five very tidy overs for only 27 runs. Despite this, at the end of 45 overs Parkfield and Headstone had posted a total of 275-5.
The target was always going to be challenging but Malcolm Leach (35) and Chris Buckingham (50) opened the batting, with the former digging in to anchor the inning. He was eventually dismissed in the 43rd over, leaving the hitting to Buckingham.
This he did, dispatching the ball to various parts of the ground to earn a very well deserved maiden half century for the club.
However, once Buckingham was out, the middle order were never able to keep up with the required run rate and the home side finished on 161-6 to lose by 114 runs.
Berkhamsted I recorded their first win of the season against Southgate Adelaide on Saturday.
Berko posted an impressive 241-6 in their 50 overs, including a 107-ball century for wicketkeeper batsman Jez O’Neill (100), with good support from Alan Gofton (21) and Ollie Chinneck (21).
In reply, Southgate lost wickets throughout, and quickly fell behind the run rate, with Toby Gribbin taking 3-41 and Chad Fortune taking 2-24 from their 10 overs.
That left the lower end Southgate batsman to bat for pride, closing on 188-6 and giving Berko a 53-run win. Berko are away to Waltham Cross Rosedale on Saturday, with a club quiz night that evening - members and friends are welcome.
Berkhamsted II again suffered a horrendous batting collapse in their second successive match to lose to Hertford IV by 93 runs.
Despite restricting Hertford to 167 all out, with Dharmin Naik taking 4-45, Berko again failed with the bat, and will look to do better at home on Saturday.
There was better news as Berkhamsted III demolished Radlett V away on Saturday.
Berko posted an impressive 203 in their 50 overs, with Ian Dent (42), Phil Brown (59) and Ian Campbell (49) getting the bulk of the runs.
In reply Radlett were simply blown away and were all out for a paltry 34, With Dent taking 5-15.