It’s a case of déjà vu for Boxmoor’s first team as they fall just short for the second week in a row

Cricket.
Cricket.

Boxmoor’s first team lost by just 20 runs when hosting Letchworth Garden City in the Saracens Herts League Division 6B on Saturday.

It was a case of déjà vu for Boxmoor as they again came a close second best, falling just short of the target, for the second week running.

The hosts’ opening bowlers succeeded in taking early wickets, Lloyd Larkins striking twice and Stan Harper sending the opposition skipper back to the pavilion.

However, The Moor let slip a promising position, as Letchworth’s sixth-wicket partnership looked to take the game away with veteran batsman Elder (63) and 17-year-old Stewart (79) seeing the visitors through to a competitive 230 all out.

Boxmoor’s own Colt, 16-year-old Larkins, cleaned up the tail to finish with excellent figures of 10-3-16-5, for his first five-wicket haul for the club’s top senior side.

The home side’s new-look opening par of Nick Cottrell and Sam Stride started circumspectly, due to tight bowling, with a 55-run partnership. Cottrell perished looking to up the tempo and Stride played positively before offering a straightforward caught-and-bowled chance on 41.

For the second successive game Boxmoor’s batters slowly got behind the run-a-ball asking rate, which ultimately proved too much, despite good efforts from Ed Shaw (27), Aidan Pimm (27) and Anum Hamdani (31 not out).

The Moor finishing on 210-8 and did earn 17 bonus points.

They have an exciting away visit to local rivals Hemel Hempstead III this Saturday.

Boxmoor’s second XI won by six wickets away at London Colney II in Division 9B.

The captain again lost the toss and was asked to field, a decision he wasn’t unhappy with. Jay Goodwin (1-18) and Alex Harris (1-32) set the tone with some tight and disciplined bowling as the hosts struggling to score at two-an-over at the start of the innings.

The bowling was backed by some fine fielding, led by Cameron Brooks, as the boundary was rarely found. Stan Williamson (3-24) continued the trend as he removed the number two and three batsmen in quick succession and Harris produced a superb run-out of the other opener.

Only Davidson (46) provided any resistance, as wickets tumbled around him.

Debutant Naran Jagatia (1-25) impressed and 15-year- old Euan Mathie who, after a tough baptism into 2nds cricket the previous week, bowled with pace and accuracy to bag 2-15.

With a low score of 144 to chase, Keith Hammond (26) and Cameron Brooks (14) got the reply off to a good start.

Once Brooks perished, Kelly Low (14) continued the good work but there was a slight wobble when Low and Hammond parted in quick succession. That brought Ben Mannering (25 not out) and Jacob Ashburner (37) together and a superb 66-run partnership ensued, with Ashburner punishing the home attack with some attacking play.

It was left to Stan Williamson to hit the winning run for the comfortable win.

Boxmoor’s 3rds, looking for their first win this term, made the short trip to Little Chalfont to take on Chorleywood 4ths at the picturesque Westwood Park, losing by 44 runs in the Herts League Regional Division B West.

Upon winning the toss, Boxmoor skipper Keith McKay elected to insert the opposition on a track that looked helpful to the bowlers.

But Chorleywood’s openers made short work of that theory, as they accelerated to 75 from the first 10 overs.

The experienced Boxmoor first-change bowlers, club president John Scott (8-1-25-0), and chairman Matt Larkins (8-0-27-3), swung the innings back in The Moor’s favour, with able support from the wily spin of Aaron Hinton (8-0-23-3).

But 10 dropped catches haunted Boxmoor as Chorleywood kept the run-rate high and finished on 200 - 7 from their 40 overs.

After tea, Boxmoor’s reply immediately stumbled with opener Dan Webb falling to a second-ball duck.

However, fellow opener Larkins and Lee Rance (47) steadied the ship as they added 94 for the second wicket, before Larkins fell for an excellent 57. Despite a late cameo from Paul Biddle (25), the Boxmoor reply fell short as they closed on 156-4.

It was an improved performance which earned 13 bonus points.

Boxmoor’s Blackbirds side on Sunday lost by 98 runs away at a strong Grifters side in Flamstead in a friendly.

Blackbirds looked to have done well to restrict an explosive Grifters batting line-up to 142-5, but they succumbed to equally strong bowling to be all out for 44.

The silver linings for Boxmoor were the fast bowling and slick fielding of Steve Butler, earning him a wicket and a run-out, two wickets from Blackbirds’ debutant Nat Sims and a top-scoring 13 from fellow newcomer Guy Stafford.