Spirited celebratory scenes overtook Hemel Hempstead Town Cricket Club over the weekend after one side won their division and another clinched promotion.
They started on Saturday when the third team made sure of their promotion from Division 6B of the Herts Saracens League with a thrashing of champions Abbots Langley II at Hemel’s Heath Park Nursery Ground home.
They continued the very next day when Hemel’s Sunday first XI not only earned promotion from Division 3 of the Lords Chess Valley League but clinched it in style by winning the title.
Batting first on Saturday, Abbots had no answer to Hemel’s bowlers as they ran through the visitors in 36 overs for just 94 runs. Bryan Davies (3-30) and Eranda Jayasinghe (3-14) were the main threat, but Ed Grayson (2-24) and Suren Perera (2-13) meant there was no let-up.
Dan Gurney (4-30) was the only Abbots wicket-taker as Hemel strolled to 95-4 from only 20 overs. Ryan Bell led the way with an unbeaten 47 and he was helped by Davies (21) and Andy Turbutt (17 not out).
The early finish meant more time for the celebrating.
On Sunday at relegation-threatened Chingford, the hosts made 152-9 in their 45 overs. G Duke was their main batter at number six, scoring 52.
Hemel’s opening bowlers Ed Langley (3-23) and Martin Botha (3-21) tore through their top order and had them at 34-6 early in the innings before the home side rebuilt.
There weren’t any spectacular run-scorers for Hemel in the reply, but solid knocks from Lewis Hodgins (30) and Josh Graves (30) helped the innings along.
Hemel relied on nerveless Botha coming in at number 10 with the score on 127-8 as he rattled off an undefeated 21 and put on an unbeaten stand of 29 for the ninth wicket with Langley (10 not out) to see them over the winning line with 156-8 in 42.3 overs. The win also demoted Chingford.
The season has now concluded for all of Hemel’s sides apart from a memorial game this Sunday for Steve Cheesewright, who died of cancer a few years ago.
He played in most of the Hemel sides and his mum Lesley was secretary of the club for several years. The match starts at 2pm and will be raising money for a cancer charity. All support would be appreciated.