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Bishop’s Stortford II claim back-to-back titles in Saracens Hertfordshire Cricket League with win over Hemel Hempstead





Bishop’s Stortford’s second XI secured back-to-back Saracens Hertfordshire Cricket League titles with a four-wicket win over Hemel Hempstead at Cricketfield Lane on Saturday.

The Division 3A champions lost just one game all summer – with 13 wins and four ‘no results’ – and finished on 446 points, 29 ahead of nearest rivals Rickmansworth. They will play in Division 2B for the 2024 season.

Hemel won the toss and elected to bat, but lost early wickets to find themselves 27-4. Freddie Lowe and Phil Costard settled the innings until the latter was caught for 41 with the total on 106-5.

Bishop's Stortford II were crowned Herts League Division 3A champions after their win over Hemel Hempstead at Cricketfield Lane on Saturday
Bishop's Stortford II were crowned Herts League Division 3A champions after their win over Hemel Hempstead at Cricketfield Lane on Saturday

Hemel were all out for 150 in the 46th over. Lowe eventually fell lbw to Richie Heywood, who finished with 6-30. There were two wickets for Liam Mays and one apiece for Tim Smith and Zach Ahmed.

Stortford lost an early wicket before the Heywood brothers produced an unbroken seventh-wicket partnership of 54 to guide them to victory, Will finishing on 50 not out and Richie unbeaten on 24.

The first XI travelled to Harpenden for their final Premiership game of the season. Stortford were looking to finish fourth while the hosts were hoping for victory combined with defeat for leaders Potters Bar at home to Old Owens.

Stortford lost the toss and fielded first against a very strong batting side. The first wicket fell at 46 and this was followed by a 100-run partnership between James Latham and Danyaal Khalid. Khalid (45) fell to a catch by Joe Hawkins off Mas Khan, quickly followed by Latham (78) being bowled by Sam Davis.

This saw the arrival of overseas player Chris Swanson. While Meacock (10) followed the same departure route as Khalid, to leave Harpenden on 164-4, Swanson blasted his way to 50 off 40 balls and enjoyed a 74-run partnership with Andrew Neal (28) before the latter was bowled by Dom Clutterbuck.

Swanson was hitting high and wide before eventually being caught on the boundary for 71 (off 52 balls). Usman Farooq, with 34 off 18 balls, and Harry Seagrave, 29 off just eight balls, continued the onslaught before Harpenden completed their 50-over innings on 329-6. Khan claimed three wickets, Clutterbuck two and Davis one.

In reply, Stortford never really got going and were all out for 215 with five balls of their 50 overs remaining, losing by 114 runs.

Davis top-scored with 44 with Jonny Gaffney getting a run-a-ball 40 not out, but the highlight of the innings was 15-year-old Henry Hawkins showing his maturity and batting extremely well for his 28 off 32 balls.

It was not the outcome Stortford were hoping for, but there are many positives to take from their fifth place finish, just three points behind rivals Hertford in fourth.

Potters Bar won the title with 348 points, five ahead of Harpenden, after beating Old Owen in a dramatic finish by just two runs, despite being dismissed for 174 in 49.4 overs.

In Tees Herts and Essex Border League Premier Division, Bishop’s Stortford III pulled off a remarkable win at Bengeo by a single run.

Callum Sykes top-scored for Stortford with 67 in a total of 240-8. In reply, Bengeo seemed to be cruising to victory at 230-5, with Luke Kennedy on 109 not out, but Joe De Souza took 4-44, including two wickets in his final over with the score on 239.

This left the last pair together needing two runs to win, but Kennedy was brilliantly caught at first slip by skipper Ruan Premadasa off Tom Waring (2-12) to finish the season on a high.

The Bishop's Stortford Cricket Club fourth XI that secured promotion from Tees Herts and Essex Border League Division 2 with a win over Harlow Town III at Cricketfield Lane
The Bishop's Stortford Cricket Club fourth XI that secured promotion from Tees Herts and Essex Border League Division 2 with a win over Harlow Town III at Cricketfield Lane

In Division 2 of the same league, Stortford IV claimed the second promotion slot behind champions Thaxted as a result of a four-wicket victory at home to Harlow Town III combined with Essendon losing their final fixture.

Harlow made 155-9, with notable knocks from skipper James Williamson (47) and Jack Flowers (40). Joe Clune took 3-22 for the hosts.

Victory looked comfortable thanks to Seth Clifford-Banks (32) and David Collard (53), but four quick wickets from Richard Lavelle reduced Stortford’s reply to 110-6. The experience of Clune (23 not out) and Graeme Sumner (27 not out) took them to a winning total of 160-6 with 11 overs left.



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