Hemel Hempstead’s teams on Saturday were able to earn three wins out of four games, including a comprehensive win for the first XI as they saw off Langleybury in no time.
Batting first at Hemel’s Heath Park, Langleybury were unable to get to grips with the power and variety of the hosts’ bowling.
Opening bowlers Brett Penny (2-13) and Shidhu Kanade (2-29) put in the power, while spinners Lewis Hodgins (2-18) and Parth Mehta (1-17) added the variety as the visitors crawled to 136 all out.
There were no such problems for Hemel in the reply as they strolled to 138 -3 from just 24 overs, half of the allotted 50.
Brett Penny, at number three, scored 33, opener Hemish Ilangaratne added 32 and Johan Moritz came in at number four to smash an unbeaten 42 in 28 balls to see Hemel romp home.
The victory pushed Hemel up to second place in the Herts Championship table.
They will face a true test in the next two games, when they travel to Reed, who are third and just one point behind Hemel, followed by a home clash against unbeaten league leaders Dunstable.
Hemel’s second XI appeared to have the game in the bag on the road at Langleybury II when the hosts were on 174-8 with ten overs left but the match slipped from their grasp as a partnership of 48 from Simon Ross (44 not out) and Chris Horne (19 not out) saw Langleybury II to a win with just eight balls to spare.
Earlier, Hemel had scored 221-7 from their 50 overs with Kevin West centralising the innings with an unbeaten 60.
Skipper Tom Waterton added 36, Taq Hussain hit 28 and Charlie Hoskins came in late to knock a quick-fire 32.
Hemel had pinned Langleybury back with wickets for West (2-33), Alfie Bordoley (2-38) and Liam Jahn (1-28). Hoskins was a tad expensive (2-60) but Anjam Khan kept things down with 1-21.
But Langleybury managed to sneak the win and rise to second place in the Herts Division 3B table, while Hemel II remain winless and dropped to one place off the bottom.
This Saturday the side visit Wheathampstead, who are one place above them.
There was a third win for Hemel III in Division 6B against Bovingdon at the Heath Park Nursery Ground .
Hemel were in a bit of trouble with six wickets down and only 40 runs on the board.
Then wicket-keeper Andy Turbutt (43) and Will Hodgins (26) came together and put on 93 for the seventh wicket and got Hemel out of a hole.
Flurries from Ross Chapman (21), at number ten, and Ben Dumpleton (16 not out), from the last batting slot, saw Hemel put the total up to 186 all out, which had looked remote earlier.
Then it was the turn of Dave Jenkins who turned in remarkable figures of 8-20 to rattle through the Bovingdon batters, after Martin Botha had removed their openers, and skittle the visitors out for just 112.
Hemel’s fourth team kept their unbeaten run going in Division 9B with a trouncing of Harpenen V.
Putting Harpenden into bat, the visitors Hemel were able to run through their batting in just 29 overs for the loss of just 69 runs.
John Peppett led the way, taking 5-19 from 6.4 overs.
Matt Scears ran through the tail, taking three wickets for just two runs in 18 balls.
In the reply, Hemel lost both of their openers early on, but with a low score to chase, a 19 from Darryl Barnett, an unbeaten 22 from Will Stokes and a 15 not out from Dan Turbutt saw Hemel home with no great problems.
Their next two home games will be crucial, against fellow undefeated sides Preston III and Sandridge II.
There was a second victory of the season for Hemel’s Sunday first XI in the Lords Chess Valley League against Lohana Harrow.
Put in to bat, Hemel lost skipper Lewis Hodgins in the first over and they could have feared the worst.
But faith paid through, and a 34 from Ryan Wilson and a 35 from Dave Hoskins saw them up to over 100 just before the halfway mark. Then Sunny Kullar (49 not out) and Charlie Hoskins (48 not out) put on an unbeaten 90 for the seventh wicket in 15 overs to push Hemel up to 239-6.
Strategic manipulation of the bowling resources saw Lohana always just behind the clock in their run chase.
Taking wickets at key times proved useful for Hemel. Ruhan Mia turned in 3-41 from nine overs, Charlie Hoskins took 3-41 from ten and Lewis Hodgins 2-33 from 10.
A couple of slick run-outs at the end as Lohana chased the game saw Hemel to a 41-run win with two overs to go.