Hemel recover after iffy start to move to second in the table


There was a good away win for Hemel Hempstead’s first XI on Saturday as they kept Reed at bay, who started the day one place below Hemel in the league standings

It had looked a bit perilous after losing the toss and being put in to bat, when Hemel were bowled out for 186.

And in the reply Reed started well at 104-1, but it proved to be no problem for Hemel and they responded to earn an impressive victory.

Skipper Nick Hodgins trapped the Reed wicketkeeper Richard Wharton LBW for 30 and the Hemel spin bowlers got their act together.

Reed tumbled to 140 all out, with Parth Mehta bowling all his 10 overs to take 2-26, Johan Moritz bowled seven overs to take 4-31 and Hodgins picked up 3-14 from 9.3 overs, including the last Reed man in his final over.

Earlier, Hemel had laboured to reach 186, with Brett Penny run-out on 49 while going for his 50.

Johan Moritz also hit 32, Lewis Hodgins made 35 and Matt Dale carried his bat from number six for a useful 28.

After five games, Hemel are now in second place in the Saracens Hertfordshire Championship league table.

It sets up a tantalising match between the top two sides this Saturday. Opponents Dunstable are undefeated after winning again at the weekend over Ampthill Town and remain top of the division.

The action gets under way at 11.30am at Hemel’s Heath Park ground.

It will be the first regular game of the season following five matches of limited-overs (50) fixtures.

Hemel’s second team on Saturday had the day off.

The side, who are currently bottom-but-one in the standings, return to action in Division 3B this Saturday when they visit Wheathampstead, who are one place above them in the table.

The third team succumbed to their first defeat of the league season in Division 6B, when they went down away at Bushey II, who now hover close to them in third place in table and just three points adrift.

Put in by Bushey, Hemel were never able to get a good score together despite a solid 63 from Tom Waterton.

The other nearest decent scores were 23s from both Matt Petchell and Dave Jenkins.

Bushey were able to coast their way to victory with more than six overs to spare.

The best bowling return for the visitors was 3-26 from the leg spin of Alfie Bordoley.

This Saturday they host Boxmoor (1pm).

Hemel’s fourth team also went down to their first defeat of the season on the full Heath Park pitch, rather than the Nursery Ground.

Preston III, the victors, moved to the top of Division 9B as a result and remain unbeaten.

Batting first, Preston only made it to 149 - 8 from their 50 overs, but it was their bowlers who proved to be the key on the day.

Figures of 3-31 for John Peppett was the best return for Hemel’s bowling attack.

At the halfway stage of the 50 overs, Hemel were on 78-5 in the reply with a lot resting on the lower order.

Number six Dan Turbutt made 24 and number eight Dil Khan added 22, but Hemel ended up an antagonising five runs short of victory after being bowled out for 145.

Hemel are now in fifth place in the table. They travel to fourth-ranked Old Minchendenians this Saturday.

Hemel’s Sunday side lost at Brentham in the Lords Chess Valley League.

The hosts won the toss, elected to bat and reached 228-7.

S Kullar picked up two wickets while William Hodgins collected 1-43.

In the reply, Hemel were bowled out for 169 after 43.2 overs. Aaron Wilson top scored with 34.

It was Hemel’s first loss of the season but they remain top of Division 3 by four points from Brentham.

This Sunday Hemel are due to host Roving Reporters in a friendly at Heath Park (2pm).