There was plenty of action this week as Dacorum’s clubs made the most of the sunny playing conditions.
Kings Langley I suffered a 17-run defeat at Broxbourne in Herts League Division One as a batting collapse was costly.
After being in a very strong position at 151-5, and needing only 26 to win, Kings were bowled out for 159.
Kings previously had their hosts on 96-6 and 140-9 but the last pair hit 36 as Broxbourne reached 176.
Kings were going steady in reply with Simon Walker (76) and Tom Sambrook (49), but when they were out the seemingly inevitable win became a disappointing defeat.
Mark Brazier (5-70) and Andrew Burnell (4-27) had taken wickets for Kings.
Meanwhile, Kings Langley II recorded a good win over Letchworth III in Division Six, winning by 27 runs.
Kings elected to bat and scored a modest 159 all out.
Tony Morton (26) and Tim Piper (25) were the only top order batsmen to resist the visitors’ bowlers and Kings were reduced to 73-6 before the lower order fought back with contributions from Phil Robinson (24), Rob Clark (23) and Duane Smith (14).
Letchworth were then bowled out for 132 in the 48th over; Josh Oldham claiming 3-21, Ben Joyce taking 2-22 and Rob Clark snaring 2-38.
In Division Nine, Kings Langley III secured a 132-run victory over North Mymms III with major contributions coming from the younger members of the team.
David Burnell top scored with 31 and Harry Misslebank chipped in with 20 as they reached a total of 180.
Misslebank then claimed two wickets for 13, while Toby Hendy (2-14), Sifan (2-6) and Scott Rolfe (3-3) bowled well to skittle their opponents out for 48 in 19 overs.
Kings Langley IV had an excellent win over local rivals Rickmansworth V in Division 12, winning by 121 runs.
Dave Barton (106 n/o) shared a 108-run partnership with Sriram Panchanadeeswaran (51 n/o), enabling Kings to declare on 196-4.
Sriram then took 5-35 in Ricky’s reply of 75 all out, while Luke O’Dell claimed three wickets for 11 runs.
Hemel Town I have not beaten Stevenage I at home in the league since 2004 and they continued that poor run on Saturday.
At 33 overs into their 50, Hemel were 146-2 and looking to establish a meaningful total, however their innings fell away and the last eight wickets went for 43 runs in 14 overs.
Hem Ilangaratne top scored with 62, and the nearest to that was 27 from Adam Winchester.
In reply, Stevenage never really looked in much danger as they chased the total.
Hemel had a brief flicker of hope when, at 131-2 Hitesh Patel delivered a stunning run-out with a direct hit from 20 yards and Gareth James struck with the next ball.
But that was as good as it got for Hemel and Stevenage moved on to win by five wickets with an over to go.
Hemel Town II stand-in skipper Graham Clark made it two wins from two with victory against Old Owens I.
Put in to bat, Hemel were bowled out for a less than flattering score of 132.
Suren Perera top scored with 30 at the top and Matt Dale added 25, but it was a late order flurry from Duncan Howard (16), Andy Turbutt (14) and Liam Jahn (14) that got Hemel over the 100-run mark.
With the ball, youngster Billy May turned in figures of 6-13 from 10 overs to help run through Old Owens.
A couple of wickets from fellow opener Duncan Howard (2-25) and 2-42 from the spin of Faisal Iqbal finished the job.
There was a comfortable win for Hemel Town III at Cockfosters with opening bowler Rory Fraser leading the way with 5-48.
Charlie Hoskins (2-13) and Matt Bateman (2-14) provided the back up as Cockfosters were bowled out for 118.
In reply, Hemel’s batsmen never had much trouble. Jitan Raval led the way with 43, while John Clulow (36 n/o), Tom Elborn (23) and Will Langley (14) also chipped in.
Previously without a win in Division 8 so far this season, Hemel Town IV put that right with a crushing victory over Offley & Stopsley.
Putting them in, Hemel had Phil Freebrey (4-40) and Shad Khan (3-15) to thank for running through the O&S batting, before Rahul Wickramsinghe polished off the tail.
Hemel then struggled a bit in the chase but, from 63-5 after 35 overs, Jim Langley (16 n/o) and Dave Jenkins (51 n/o) put on an undefeated 63 in 10 overs to set up the win.
Another game on the new Heath Park Nursery Ground ended in defeat for Hemel Town V by Radlett V.
Batting first, tight Radlett bowling kept Hemel from scoring too freely.
Opener Chris Wright top scored with 40 in two hours and middle order Rob Shepherd managed 38 not out, but in almost an hour.
In contrast, Radlett opener Martin Scott scored 75 in under two hours and middle order Jon Grant managed 59 not out in half an hour.
In the end Radlett won with 10 overs to spare.
With the Herts Cup being replaced by a 20-20 competition this year, Hemel Town Sunday I took on North Mymms in the first game of their pool matches on Sunday.
A convincing win ensued, largely due to the extraordinary figures from spin bowler Parth Mehta of 4-0-8-6.
Batting first, Winchester hit 41 in 35 balls which gave Hemel the impetus to reach 136-7 in their 20 overs.
Then it was the Mehta show as he rattled through North Mymms to restrict them to 98-8 in their 20 overs.
Hemel Town Sunday II played a quickly arranged CCC friendly against Roving Reporters – a friendly touring side made up of journalists.
Batting first, the Reporters made 178-7 with Hemel skipper Rory Fraser taking 2-13 and Adam Moulster 2-29.
Hemel’s reply started off well with 43 from a returning Tom Waterton, 31 from Steve Smith and 25 from Phil Smith.
But then it fell away a bit and Hemel were bowled out for 162 to lose by 16 runs.
Hemel Town Women suffered a seven-wicket defeat at the hands of Hampstead Women on Sunday.
Hemel were put in to bat and lost only three wickets to bat out their 30 overs for 92.
In reply, Hemel took an early wicket as they looked to defend their total.
However, Hampstead then formed a steadying partnership and earned the win after 19 overs with seven wickets in hand.
Berkhamsted I drew a close game with Dunstable II on Saturday.
Winning the toss, Berko inserted Dunstable who started well, but a mid-innings collapse left the away side struggling at 97-7.
However, the lower order rallied and Dunstable managed to post 183 all out.
The pick of the bowlers were Riaz Richards (6-50) and Doug Foster (3-55).
In reply, Berko also found the going tough, losing wickets frequently despite a stoical 35 from Luke Frey.
With overs running out, Berko were still a long way off the total, but some excellent counter attacking batting from Richards (52 n/o) brought them within reach.
They needed nine of the final over to win with 3 wickets to spare, however with fielders out on the boundary Dunstable were able to ensure that the match finished in an exciting draw.
Berkhamsted II made the short trip to local rivals Bovingdon.
Bowling first, Berko put in a good all-round effort in the field, however too many 4s resulted in a Bovingdon total which was 30 or 40 more than it should have been.
Oliver Holroyd, Steve Dight and Ian Merrett took three wickets apiece.
In reply, youngsters Dan Angel (22) and Jack Filer (46) put on 55 but Berko were always behind the run rate.
Darren Gower-Jackson hit a brisk 31, before Oliver Holroyd (26 n/o) and Rob Prunty (12 n/o) batted well to see the game out.
Berkhamsted III entertained Old Elizabethans III, picking up their first win of the season.
Berko soon had the away side in trouble at 18-6, but a seventh wicket partnership pushed the score to 100.
The visitors eventually closed at 116 all out, Peter Dudley taking a miserly 3-15
In reply, Dudley batted throughout the entire innings with a patient 28 n/o.
Ian Putman (31) and John English (30 n/o) calmed the nerves of some early wickets, and Berko eventually ended up four-wicket winners.
Berkhamsted IV played their first fixture of the season with a very young side away at Harpenden V.
Fielding first, Berko restricted a far more-experienced opposition to 146-9.
At 45-5, a draw seemed the best Berko could hope for, but skipper Peter Drury (44) took the visitors to within 15 runs of their target.
Harpenden held on, though, and the game ended in a draw.
Berkhamsted Sunday I suffered their first defeat of the season against the Fleet Street Strollers.
Posting a modest 175 courtesy of good knocks from Will Stead (65) and Tom Pierleoni (37), the experienced batting line of Strollers repelled the Berko attack to win by eight wickets.
Seamer Sam Mazurek roared down the Bedmond Road slope to win the match for Leverstock Green I at home to Abbots Langley I in Division Two – his 5-15 coming from less than four overs with Abbots set for victory.
Green ran out runners by just three runs, with the last five Abbots wickets falling within the final 25 runs of the 140-run victory target.
Levy opener Lewis Koch (40) had earlier batted with patience on a tough track, although a ninth-wicket stand between Mazurek (17) and Majid Khan (24 n/o) ended up proving crucial to a thrilling local derby climax.
For Abbots, Steve Wallis bowled for 21 overs and took a career best 7-53.
Leverstock Green II fell foul of the day’s only Herts League cancellation, at Parkfield & Headstone.
Teenager Tom Callingham’s 50 was the outstanding effort from another disappointing batting display by Leverstock Green III, who crumbled to 132-10, 31 runs short of the target set by Old Elizabethans II.
Having inserted their hosts, Green’s seam attack had put their side in with a good shout of victory. Steve May and Brett Baney took four wickets apiece to restrict the hosts to 163.
But poor shot selection, added to some wild running, saw Green under-score for a third game running.
Watford Town V chased down Leverstock Green IV’s modest 118 all out for a four-wicket win.
Graham Evans and Ellis Allan joint top-scored with 22 for Green, for whom Dave Cardy (3-24) took three of the six wickets to fall.
On Sunday – despite Nick Merrett’s undefeated 60 – 154 never looked like enough of a 50-over target for Old Owens, who recorded a five-wicket Herts Trophy success over Leverstock Green Sunday I at Bedmond Road.
Abbots Langley I slipped to their third defeat of the season as they were beaten by Leverstock Green I on Saturday – see above for report.
Abbots Langley II strolled to an emphatic six-wicket win over Hexton.
Dan Roche (5-39) and the lively Neel Patel (2-25) bowled superbly as Hexton were dismissed for just 85.
Matt Parkins then batted with authority in a match-winning 53 n/o to take Abbots to an easy victory.
Abbots Langley III lost a close game against Welwyn Garden City IV.
Abbots batted first and compiled a reasonable 161 all out on a slow pitch.
Neil White (25) opened the batting and, along with Clive Winder (35), got Abbots off to a solid start.
James Allan (43) batted with patience as Abbots looked on the way for a big score, but their last five wickets went down for 18 runs.
Bob Russell (3-58) and White (2-28) then had Welwyn struggling at 115-7, but an eighth-wicket stand of 47 took them to victory.
Elsewhere, Abbots Langley IV beat West Herts IV by four wickets.
Tom Ruxton snr was the star for Abbots, taking a career best 6-22, while Cameron Khan (2-22) also impressed as West Herts were dismissed for 110.
Debutante Daniel Knight (56), and James Hoskins (17 n/o) were the mainstays in Abbots’ winning reply.
Abbots Langley Sunday II lost to Aldenham in a friendly game, with Matt Parkins taking 3-40 as Aldenham amassed an imposing 233-5.
Nick Gurney (32) and 80 from Sam Bailey put Abbots in the frame for a good win, but a tail-end collapse saw them bowled out for 159.