The Dacorum cricket clubs slapped on the sun cream for a scorching weekend of hard-hitting action.
Kings Langley I secured a fine seven-wicket win over Northchurch to keep them in fifth place in the Division Two table.
Northchurch decided to bat first and were restricted to 191-6 in their 53 overs, with Mark Hobley top scoring with 57. Christian James (3-56), Ben Joyce (2-27) and Mark Brazier (1-61) took the wickets.
In reply, Kings scored steadily and secured the win in the 40th over, with 16-year-old Simon Walker leading the run chase with a composed 75 not out.
Paul Ashford scored 56 and Ricky Mohammad added 27 not out.
Kings Langley II continued their good form with a three-wicket win over Old Haberdashers.
The home side batted first and scored 216 all out with Dave Houghton claiming 4-28, Radley Tant 3-35, Duane Smith 2-36 and Tony Morton 1-32.
Kings scored steadily in reply, with Shandy Ratnakuran top scoring with 55 not out. Smith and Duncan Fleming both added 31 and Morton hit 30 as Kings reached their target in the 46th over.
Kings Langley III went down by three runs against Boxmoor in a very tight finish.
Boxmoor scored 212 all out in the 53rd over with Richard Crowther scoring 51. Kings’ Phil Robinson claimed 4-56 and Gordon Sambidge took 3-39.
Russell Knights got Kings off to a good start, scoring 52, and Robinson (30) and Sam Joyce (21) were the other main scorers but they lost their last wicket with one over remaining. Boxmoor’s Ravi Giriyappa took 6-41.
Kings Langley VI went back to the top of Division 14 with a fine 76-run victory over Wheathampstead IV. Batting first, Kings made full use of their opportunity and scored an impressive 256-4 in 43 overs.
Tom Templeton scored his first century for the club, finishing on 102 not out. Rich Davis (44), Warwick Smith (39) and Dave Barton (26) were the other main run scorers.
In reply, Wheathampstead were never up with the run rate and were bowled out for 180 with two balls remaining.
Phil Ratcliff (4-29), Tony Thompson (2-12) and Templeton (2-14) were the main wicket takers for Kings.
Hemel Hempstead Town U17 reached the final of the Herts County Cup as they beat West Herts by 58 runs.
The game featured a catch by Hemel’s Charlie Hoskins that was described by the league controller as the best he had ever seen at any level.
The low right handed catch off his own bowling came off a full blooded drive as West Herts were beginning to look dangerous in reply to Hemel’s 142-3 off 20 overs.
Hemel’s total had been built on an opening stand of 74 from 11 overs between Will Langley (46) and Matt Dale (45). Aaron Wilson (16), Billy May (16 n/o) and Eddie Rogers (15 n/o) also all chipped in.
Hoskins’ 2-7 off his four overs had a crucial effect on the game and West Herts were restricted to 85-9. Dale took four middle-order wickets for 15.
Elsewhere, skipper Hem Ilangaratne came to the fore as he scored 103 not out to ensure victory for Hemel Town I at Hoddesdon I.
Hemel managed to tie Hoddesdon down with the ball and Nick Hodgins led the way with a marathon spell of 25-7-69-3. A quick 2-20 from Hitesh Patel was also crucial.
In reply, Ilangaratne and Chris Blunt (54 n/o) got the job done for Hemel.
Meanwhile, having bowled Wheathampstead out for 151 – with Bryan Davies snaffling up 5-58 and Matt Petchell taking 3-38 – Hemel Town II were in a bit of trouble in the chase at 101-8.
Brad Finch had scored 31 at the top of the innings but the rest had fallen away.
But then the two bowlers got to business with the bat as Petchell scored 21 not out and Bryan Davies added 33 not out to put on 51 for the ninth wicket and see Hemel to victory.
Hemel Town III made the most of playing their only home game of the season at Heath Park as they beat Division Six table-toppers Hoddesdon II.
Batting first, Hemel made 176 with Billy May top scoring on 47. Hemel then bowled Hoddesdon out for just 125 with Phil Freebrey leading the way with 4-32.
Hemel Town IV were the only Hemel side not to win on Saturday as they fought to close out a draw at Northchurch.
Tyron Goose was the star for Hemel as he struck 65, which together with Steve Smith’s 38 put Hemel up to 200-8 from their 53 overs.
In reply, two wickets apiece for Matt Bateman (2-37), Rahul Kedia (2-42) and Ben Dumpleton (2-65) kept Northchurch in tow and they ended up seven runs short of victory with two wickets left.
Hemel Town V moved up to 13th in Division 12 as they comfortably saw off Met Police Bushey III.
Hemel bowler Jim Ridgewell did the damage with the ball as he returned figures of 5-12 from his seven overs. Harry Milkins (2-42) and Rishi Shah (2-15) also struck as Met Police were skittled for 104.
In reply, Tony Linfoot top scored for Hemel with 27, but the Met Police bowlers gave away 39 extras to hand Hemel the win.
The following day, a somewhat weakened Hemel Town Sunday I side were blown away by a masterful Chesham I team who maintained their position at the head of Chess Valley League Division One.
Batting first, no Hemel partnership really got going and Hem Ilangaratne (22) and Tom Elborn (21) were the only men to make it into the 20s.
It took a last wicket stand of 26 between Lewis Broughton (18 n/o) and Charlie Hoskins (14 n/o) to see Hemel up to 155-9 from their 45 overs.
In reply, Chesham strolled to victory in the 31st over.
Hemel Town Sunday II picked up their second victory of the season with an excellent win at Redbourn.
Good tight bowling had kept Redbourn down to 190 all out with Aaron Wilson (3-42) and Rory Fraser (3-50) the main wicket takers.
Then it was Wilson’s time to shine again as he opened the batting with a magnificent 110 not out which, together with Jim Langley’s 58, saw Hemel home by six wickets.
Berkhamsted I suffered a four-wicket loss at the hands of Rickmansworth as six of their batsmen failed to get into double figures.
Riaz Richards top scored for Berko with 53, while opener Andrew Joyce chipped in with 46 as his side reached 179 all out.
In reply, Richards and Edward Sibley took a couple of wickets apiece, but Rickmansworth reached their target with four wickets in hand.
It was a frustrating day for Berkhamsted III as they were beaten by Mill Hill Village III.
Batting first, Berko reached 159-7 off their allotted overs, with Andre Machon top scoring on 38.
In reply, Mill Hill lost both openers for ducks but eventually got the job done with plenty of wickets in hand. Ian Campbell (2-32) was the pick of the Berko bowlers.
Abbots Langley I moved back up to second place in Division Three with a demolition of high-flying Old Owens.
Fielding first, Abbots were always in control and took wickets at regular intervals.
Ibby Usman (2-30) and Mat Dunstone (2-32) chipped in with good spells, but it was Aussie Chris Chellow who starred with an almost unplayable spell of quick bowling. He took 6-20 in 10 overs to leave Old Owens in tatters at 118 all out.
Chellow (51), then got the Abbots innings off to a great start alongside Jack Read (40).
After they were dismissed, it was left to Peter Metcalfe (11 n/o) and Micheal Burgess (12 n/o), to guide Abbots home to an easy eight-wicket victory in only 19 overs.
Abbots Langley II were knocked off the top off Division Seven when they fell to a comprehensive seven-wicket defeat against second-placed Reed II.
Craig Smith and skipper Rob Handoll got Abbots off to steady start with a 40-run opening stand but, after that, wickets fell regularly with only Sam Bailey (22) and John Battams (23) getting into double figures.
Reed then set about their run chase with intent and they got there with seven overs to go and only three wickets down.
Abbots Langley III continued their good run of form in Division 10 with a six-wicket win over third-placed Hertingfordbury II.
Abbots restricted Bury to 167 all out with a fine fielding display and some good bowling, especially from Neel Patel (2-20), and Harry Khan (2-21).
Although Abbots lost a couple of early wickets in the run chase, Ben Balmforth (66), Khan (25) and Nakul Hirani (22) took Abbots home to their best win of the season so far.
Abbots Langley IV continued their rise up Division 13 with an excellent three-wicket win over a second-placed Wheathampstead side that had lost only once this season.
Wheathampstead struggled to keep up the run rate throughout their innings as Bob Russell (5-48) and Will Graves (2-29) restricted them to 162 all out. Abbots didn’t have it all their own way in reply, though, and after 17 overs they only had 18-3 on the board. But some lusty hitting from Matt Longworth (41), Graves (45), Nicky Rossiter (36 n/o) and Chris Wilcox (22 n/o) took Abbots to their best win of the season.
A strong Dunstable Town side including professional player Robert Keogh (191 n/o) from Northants proved too strong for Leverstock Green I.
Levy stuck to their task on a swelteringly hot day, but could only manage to take two wickets as Dunstable powered to 312-2.
In reply, Levy slipped to 15-3, but Lewis Koch (33), and Dave Tyson batted well to help their side to valuable batting points at 201 all out.
Tring Park suffered a 21-run defeat to Banbury in the Home Counties League 20/20 Final at Slough.
The day began with a magnificent win over Henley, when Tring reached 163-3 in their allotted overs before Henley fell well short of their target.
In the final, Banbury batted first and some tight Tring bowling restricted them to 114-7, but Tring couldn’t reach the target in reply.
Elsewhere, Tring Park I drew with North Mymms in the league.
Mymms racked up 292-7, despite Keith Dutch taking 5-134 from a long 26-over spell.
Dutch then made 72 with the bat as Tring closed on 232-7, and Andy Dixon hit a half century.
Meanwhile, the Tring Park U11 girls have been crowned county champions after beating St Albans by 64 runs in their final.
A totally under-par batting performance saw Chipperfield Clarendon III crash to an eight-wicket defeat away to Holtwhites Trinibis III.
Having won the toss, Chipperdons found runs hard to come by on an excellent batting track with a fast outfield.
Wickets fell regularly and, for the second week running, only Martin Oliver (50 n/o) put up any resistance.
Despite a ninth-wicket stand of 39, Chipperdons were only able to amass a total of 110-9 in 47 overs.
This was never going to be enough runs to defend and the home side reached their target for the loss of only two wickets in 17.2 overs.
The Redbourn first team could not manage to bowl Chipperfield Clarendon out on Saturday and had to settle for a draw for the second week in a row.
Redbourn II, meanwhile, fell to their third defeat in four matches against Shenley Village II.
The thirds won comfortably against Tewin II while the fourths drew with Northwood Town.