Boxmoor ended their Saracens Herts League Division 6B season with a disappointing 47-run defeat away at Bushey II.
Skipper Richard Crowther wasn’t too unhappy to lose the toss as he had plenty of bowlers at his disposal.
This was reflected in the early overs as James McCluskey (8-2-23-4) and 16-year-old Saair Hamdani reduced the top order to 10-3 with fine swing bowling.
McCluskey followed his early wickets with a direct run-out from mid off, to reduce Bushey to 36-4.
But frustration followed as the Moor were held up by a 100-run fifth-wicket partnership that included a few dropped catches and a wicket chalked off for a no ball. It took the spin of Amit Mahajan (2-37) to break the partnership, while fellow spinner Crowther (2-36) made further inroads.
McCluskey finished off the tail as Bushey were bowled out for 187.
Despite an unpredictable pitch, Crowther felt the target was obtainable. Dan Hobbs and makeshift opener Dave Young started well but Hobbs fell for 11, before Young (17) and Crowther took the score past the 50-mark.
After Young was dismissed, it took a patient innings from the skipper to keep the score moving as wickets fell at the other end.
With the score on 130, Crowther finally ran out of patience playing across the line for 41. The Moor’s tail inevitably succumbed as they were dismissed for 140.
Despite the loss Boxmoor climbed up the league thanks to results elsewhere, to finish up in a creditable sixth place. Availability was an issue throughout the season but several youngsters stepped up to give plenty of cause for optimism .
A much-changed Boxmoor third XI won by seven wickets away at Bushy IV in Regional Division B West to earn a precious 30 points and avoid relegation.
Bushey batted first and were soon in trouble when Sri Kalai (2-26) and 15-year-old county ladies’ player Gabby Pimm (2-29) took vital early wickets, before a sixth-wicket stand saw Bushey get past 120. But late wickets from Mubasher Ijaz and Dan Webb restricted Bushey to 147 all out.
Chris Bryon, with a steady and sure 55 not out, Kalai (30) and Webb (31 not out) then saw Boxmoor home, with the loss of just three wickets.
Mid-table Boxmoor’s second XI lost by two wickets when hosting Hemel Town IV in Saracens Herts Division 9B.
The Boxmoor Blackbirds side drew with The Occasionals in a home friendly on Sunday.