Near-perfect Boxmoor sewed up the Saracens Herts League Division 6B title with a rousing 132-run win at Watton-at-Stone on Saturday to clinch the club’s first championship for more than 30 years.
The Moor, who have now won 14 of 15 games this term, chose to bat first on a hard track and racked up a huge 390-7.
Openers Matt Smalley-Harris (58) and Ben Mannering (59) put on 109 for the first wicket in just 18 overs.
When Mannering departed in the 27th over, Sam Pimm(64) and Sam Stride took up the reigns. Pimm was brutal, smashing 10 fours and three sixes, including one hit into a nearby garden.
He was caught one-handed on the boundary but this only brought on the in-form Joe Hall (65 not out), who put on 116 with Stride in 10 overs, including 24 runs in one over.
Stride perished in the deep for a season-high score of 72 as a few late wickets slowed the total, but Boxmoor were content to finish just shy of 400.
After a short burst of rain, the hosts lost two wickets, one to a run-out when Shaun Nichols flicked the ball onto the stumps in his follow through.
Patrick Stokes smashed an entertaining 98, backed by Brad Williams (75) as they put on 145 for the third wicket.
For a time, Boxmoor skipper Richard Crowther had something to think about as Watton looked dangerous.
However, Stokes’s departure – well-caught at deep square leg by Nichols off the returning Prateek Malhotra – broke the back of the reply.
A few lusty blows by the home skipper couldn’t stop Malhotra (4-43, nine overs) and Jamie Vincent-Jones (2-25) going through the order.
Vincent-Jones grabbed the title-clinching wicket, a middle-stump yorker that brought their much-deserved first league title since the 1980s.
They end the season with a home clash against Old Elizabethans II this Saturday as they aim to go the whole season with just one defeat.
l Hemel Hempstead Town 1sts emerged victorious in a local derby at Leverstock Green in the Saracens Herts Championship on Saturday.
Hemel’s Hemish Ilangaratne (76) and Lewis Hodgins (54) put on a third century opening partnership of the term, which proved to be crucial as no-one else made any earth-shattering scores on their way to a total of 254-9.
Brett Penny (3-37) and Shidhu Kanade (1-26) took out the first three Levy batsmen.
Sol Tomlinson showed some resistance with 33 from 31 balls but Hemel brought on recent hero Mukesh Bhatt (3-30) who snaffled him in his first over, caught by Penny.
Parth Mehta took 2-24 and Hodgins came on as a fifth bowler to snaffle Adam Thomas with his second delivery.
Levy were eventually skittled for 126 to give Hemel a 128-run victory.
With one game to go, it looks like Hemel will finish third, missing out on the second and last promotion spot by around 28 points, while Levy will be relegated back to Division One. Hemel host Flitwick this Saturday to conclude another campaign.
There was a solid home win for Hemel 2nds to complete a Division 3B double over Wheathampstead for the third successive year.
Hemel had a partnership of 174 for the second wicket between Aaron Wilson (112) and Will Langley (81), which put them on their way to 238-4 in their available 48 overs.
Hemel’s bowlers then tore into the visitors and had them eight wickets down with only 116 on the board. Nick Martin came in at number nine to smash a quick 50, but Eranda Jayasinghe bowled him as the visitors were all out for 176 for a 62-run win for Hemel.
It solidified their third-place spot in the table.
Hemel 3rds’ distant promotion hopes were dashed in Division 6A when they lost at home to bottom side Old Finchleians II.
The visitors made 237-6, largely due to Neil Depala (61) and Vivek Depala (51) batting at number six and seven.
Mark Beard had 2-36 and Will Kriehn 2-33 for Hemel.
Rain played around with the overs in Hemel’s reply as they had a stop-start chase.
Kriehn top-scored with 43 and had help from Frddie Lippiatt (22), Stan Hayden (29) and Martin Botha (31 not out) but they were all out for 193.
The victory for Old Finchleians just moved them out of the relegation zone.
Having lost at home to Hatfield Hyde II earlier this term, Hemel 4ths got some revenge in Division 9A on Saturday.
Skipper-for-the-day Nic Benson (32) and last week’s centurion Will Stokes (22) saw them up to 47, before wickets fell cheaply until a 60-run partnership between Matt Scears (28) and Dil Khan (37) saw them to 155-9.
It was a tricky total to defend but Hemel proved up to it as Dan Keene (3-36) and Ajay Savania (2-14) impressed with the ball.
Dil Khan took the last two wickets with catches from Stokes to give Hemel the win and move them up to fifth spot in the table.
Hemel’s last game of the season for the Sunday side saw them claim a home win over Edgware in a 40-over clash.
Jack Bailey scored 46, skipper Lewis Hodgins 33 and number ten Adam Locke 20, while Guyanan new boy Rawle Merell at number eight smashed 53, including three fours and four sixes in Hemel’s total of 231-10.
Jack Boughton had 3 -44, Nic Benson 3-24 and Locke 1-14, before Hodgins came on at the end to wrap things up with 3-3 as Edgware were dismissed for exactly 100.