Premier Division

West Herts slipped to their fifth defeat in their last six matches, and their third on the spin, after collapsing to a heavy 151-run loss at the hands of seventh-placed Hertford.

The result leaves the Park Avenue club hanging precariously in sixth and only 16 points above the relegation zone.

Despite losing the toss, things began brightly for the visitors as Stags seamer William Jones (2-76) removed Hertford opener William Ray for a golden duck.

However, that merely set the scene for what proved to be a match-winning partnership. Centuries from Richard Leather (137) and Ian Harris (105) laid the foundations as the pair put on a stand of 187 for the second wicket.

It was West Herts skipper Ian Gurney (2-54) who broke that partnership, trapping Harris leg before, and James Leather soon followed without scoring after being clean bowled by Matthew Smith.

When Gurney struck again, removing Ashan Abeywickrema for one to leave the score at 191-4, the floodgates threatened to open but Leather and Benjamin Cowell (31) steadied the ship to take the home side to 281-5 from their 60 overs.

In reply, the Stags’ hopes of arresting their recent downturn in fortunes suffered the terminal setback of losing their entire top five for just 39 runs.

Alastair Lewis (13) was the first to go, becoming one of four scalps for the impressive Robert Slater (4-20) who firmly set the tone for his side.

He later added the crucial breakthrough of in-form batsman Jaahid Ali for a third-ball duck, and both Sohail Syed (0) and Craig Sanders (11) to his collection, in a clinical spell of bowling.

Smith (47) and Jones (39) temporarily reined in the destruction to guide West Herts past 100, but when the latter fell with the scores at 118-6, defeat had an air of inevitability about it.

Hugh Cavener (4-19) wrapped up the Hertford victory with four wickets of his own to help bowl out the visitors for just 130.

Radlett, meanwhile, enjoyed a better afternoon as they cruised to an emphatic 124-run victory at home to strugglers Bishop’s Stortford.

Victory for the Cobden Hill outfit sees them snap a two-match losing streak and leapfrog West Herts into fifth in the standings.

The hosts posted an impressive total of 322-9 that was largely constructed around the exploits of number three and captain Kabir Toor who smashed his way to a brilliant 127.

Useful supplementary runs arrived thanks to 44 from Muhammed Adil Zareef, 33 from Josh De Caires and Joe Cooke’s 32 that helped take Radlett beyond the 300 mark.

The star man with ball in hand for Stortford was undoubtedly Simon Lindop who posted figures of 5-76, while two breakthroughs from Travis Hussain (2-91) and one wicket apiece for Jack Perman (1-26) and Chris Thomas (1-31) helped restrict the damage.

Bishop’s Stortford never really threatened reaching the victory target as Abdulrahim Mulla’s five-fer (5-53) and four wickets from man-of-the-match Toor (4-34) decimated the visitors’ card. Anthony Hill also played his part with figures of 1-40.

Only rearguard action from Hussain, who battled to a brilliant, quickfire 78, gave any semblance of respectability to the Stortford scorecard as they stumbled to just 198 all out.

Victory was completed when Mulla brought up his five-wicket haul with the final dismissal of Lindop for seven to round off an efficient afternoon’s work for him and his side.


Hemel Hempstead Town narrowly missed out on victory as they secured a creditable draw with second-placed Hoddesdon at Heath Park, a result that moves them further clear of danger in seventh.

The visitors surprisingly put Hemel in to bat first despite what appeared to be conditions that favoured batting.

Town made them pay with an opening stand of 134; Tom Elborn (29) rotated the strike and provided the freedom for opening partner Johan Moritz (116) to play his shots en route to a magnificent century.

Moritz would eventually fall, trapped leg before by Harry Mason who ended with excellent figures of 5-74.

Captain Jack Doodson steadied things and added an invaluable 67 with useful support down the order from Will Langley (23 not out) and an unbeaten 15 from Parth Mehta that helped Hemel to 309-7.

Hoddesdon made a steady start in response, putting on 82 for the first wicket before Rob Walters fell to Penny (1-19) for 41.

Maritz (1-64) then claimed a further breakthrough to dismiss James Achillea for five before James Riddle (51) brought up a fine half century only to depart to leave things poised at 110-3.

The visitors’ hopes rested with captain Sam Davis who posted a match-saving, unbeaten 90 and Jayden Broodryk (74), but when the latter fell to Shidhu Kanade (4-69) Hemel stood on the cusp of a shock win.

However they fell just short of forcing a first victory in five, making do instead with a second consecutive draw and the small consolation of 16 points.

Division Two A

It’s now two defeats in succession for Abbots Langley after they collapsed from 100 without loss to 199 all out to lose by 42 runs on the road at Preston.

Abbots lost the crucial toss, but far from toiling in the Hertfordshire heat they initially made a good fist of it with the ball.

Simon Hamilton (1-22) struck early to remove opener Lewis Balcombe for a fourth-ball duck, before a partnership of 66 between James and Jack Stevens (62 and 29 respectively) kick-started the Preston innings.

Regular wickets were juxtaposed with a series of useful partnerships as Abbots struggled to generate sufficient momentum to really rein in their hosts.

Two wickets apiece from Barry Warner (2-44) and captain Nick Gurney (2-45) did a commendable job of preventing any of the Preston batsmen from making unassailable scores, as they reached 241-7 thanks to 33 from Peter Murrell and an unbeaten 30 from Daniel Plumb.

In reply Abbots got off to a flier as David Cleary (93) and Warner (52) put on a century stand at the top of the order.

However when Warner fell to David Fleckney (1-17) with the score 106-1, there was precious little resistance from the rest of the batting card as only Lawrence Watson (11 not out) made it into double figures.

Cleary witnessed a string of partners go at the other end as Max Anderson (3-35) and Jack Stevens (3-45) ran riot, eventually missing out on his century after being caught off the former and ultimately being powerless to prevent Abbots slipping to a disappointing defeat.

Division Three B

Hemel Hempstead Town Seconds claimed a thrilling six-run victory over Potters Bar Seconds to move to within one win of top spot.

The hosts surprisingly opted to put Hemel in to bat first only to register the early breakthrough as Liam Jahn fell cheaply for seven with the score 20-1.

Hemel skipper Tom Waterton (68) and Kevin West (46) laid the foundations with a partnership of 98 before the latter fell to leave them two down.

Additional runs arrived courtesy of 24 from Eranda Jayasinghe and 23 apiece from Ed Langley and Anjam Khan respectively to steer Hemel to 240-9.

Hemel got off to the perfect start with the ball to reduce Potters Bar to 125-6, with Rory Fraser’s 4-41 doing the bulk of the damage.

There were also one wicket cameos from Khan (1-29), Charlie Hoskins (1-32), Langley (1-52), and Jayasinghe (1-62) as Hemel closed in on a dramatic win.

They didn’t have it all their own way, however, despite the result, as an unbeaten 65 from James Illott, son of ex-England spinner Mark, took Potters Bar to within a whisker of victory.

Division Four B

There was better news for West Herts Seconds, however, as they rammed home their superiority with a 104-run thrashing of Ampthill Town Seconds to strengthen their grip at the summit.

Victory at Park Avenue means the Stags remain 22-points clear at the top of the table ahead of nearest challengers Leverstock Green Seconds who also tasted victory against Chorleywood.

Batting first, Stags posted a score of 256-8, with Waheed Chaudhary top scoring with 71.

The Ampthill reply never took off and they were dismissed for 152.