It was a mixed bag for Hemel Hempstead on Saturday with two victories, a loss and a dramatic draw for the first XI in a rollercoaster game.
The first team were never really in it when visiting the Saracens Herts Championship’s bottom-but-one club Sawbridgeworth, but then turned things around to put themselves in contention, before falling just short in the last over of the game.
Hemel needed 10 runs to win with two wickets to spare in the final over. A quick single was followed by a few dot balls,an inside edge boundary, two runs and another four.
But the last ball saw a swish-and-miss LBW, leaving Hemel to take some ponts from a winning draw.
Sawbo won toss and batted, with Steve Reader (3-65) taking three early wickets but opener Danny Wilson scored 68 off 102 balls, Kaff Khan 90 from 91 and Zisan Abedin with an unbeaten 48 from 34 to drive Sawbo to 277-6 from their 60 overs.
The spin of Zisan Abedin (3-100) and Matt Billings (4-76), both from 20 overs, tied Hemel down in the reply.
Hemish Ilangatne with 40 from 45 balls at the top ticked the score along but after 30 overs they at 148-5 and needing 130 in 25 overs. Matt Dale sped along with 64 off 72 balls, Josh Graves hit 30 off 23 and Nick Hodgins 31 from 37 balls to bring Hemel into it.
Will Langley (26 not out) also had a good knock, but the dramatic last over saw the honours shared.
The second XI earned their fourth win this term to finally move out of the relegation zone in Division 3B and nearly into mid-table security.
Hemel’s bowlers made short work of Sawbo II’s batters at Heath Park, bowling them out for 146 in 36 overs.
Debutant Eranda Jayasinghe picked up 4-35 from his 10 overs and Will Hodgins 2-25 to go along with the three wickets he took on his second XI debut last week.
Hemel took just 23 overs to tap off the runs with just two wickets down. Tom Waterton (22) and Craig Weston (66) opened with a partnership of 78 in 12 overs to set up the win.
A convincing win for Hemel III kept them in the top two of Division 6B with seven wins.
Put in by visitors Allenburys & County Hall II, Hemel were surprisingly bowled out in just 27 overs for 152 runs.
Suren Perera opened and top scored with 44, Ram Hussain made 23 down the order but a couple of scores in the teens were all the rest of the side could muster.
Not that it mattered, as not only did extras top score for Allenburys on 18 but only three of their batters made runs. They made seven ducks and were all out for 56.
Alfie Bordoley (4-6), Ed grayson (2-4) and Rory Fraser (2-12) were the pick of the Hemel bowlers.
Hemel IV’s game earlier in the season against Leverstock Green III was rained off, but this time Levy made no mistake from their position at the top of Division 9B.
They bowled out Hemel for 172 in 39 overs. Scott Radcliffe top scored for Hemel with 43, followed by Barney Stalin (36).
The damage was really done when U14s Levy colt Troy Henry (5-23) cleaned out the Hemel tail for five wickets for eight runs in four overs.
In reply Dil Khan picked up a couple of early wickets but Luke Weston carried his bat for Levy to end up on 86 as they reached the target in 38 overs to remain at the top.
There were no games for Hemel on Sunday due to the football World Cup final.
Meanwhile, Hemel Hempstead’s U16s side retained the Snowden Trophy with a win at Leverstock Green on Sunday.
Leverstock won the toss and elected to bat, scoring 129-2 from their 20 overs.
James Downes retired on 44 with Cole Seggery doing the same on 40.
Hemel chased down the target in 17.2 overs with both Luqman Khan and Gerard Gibb retiring on 41.
Across the competition this year, leading performers for the three competing clubs were as follows:
Boxmoor: Euan Mathie six wickets, Alex Bell 59 runs; Hemel: Edward Grayson six wickets, Gerard Gibb 79 runs; Leverstock: Dev Kotadiya 10 wickets, James Downes 112 runs.
The competition was set up to run from 2014 to 2018 during the First World War centenary in memory of Hemel player Harcourt Snowden, who was killed in action in France in 1915 serving with the 1st Hertfordshire Regiment.
Hemel and Boxmoor took part in all five years, while Potten End played in 2015-17 and Leverstock in 2016-18.
Leverstock won it in 2016, but Hemel won in the other four years and will now retain the trophy for keeps.
Remarkably, in all five years, Hemel only lost one time, to the Green, in 2016.