Saracens Herts League: Bishop's Stortford skittle out bottom team for 49 to clinch Championship Division title
Celebrations began early for Bishop’s Stortford as a nine-wicket victory at bottom-of-the-table Langleybury on Saturday saw them clinch the Saracens Hertfordshire League, Championship Division title.
Title triumph was not assured heading into the final round of fixtures. Old Owens had been snapping at Stortford’s heels for most of the season and could have overtaken the Cricketfield Lane club, forcing them into a promotion/relegation play-off game against West Herts of the Premier Division.
However, a comfortable win for Stortford and a three-run defeat for their nearest challengers at Shenley Village assured their promotion and leaves Old Owens with a last throw of the dice against West Herts this weekend.
Langleybury, who were already relegated, won the toss and decided to bat on what was an old wicket.
Opener Finlay Reid was caught in the second over by Jonny Gaffney with the score on 4. The highest partnership of the game followed – 12 – before Matt Pike had the hosts' overseas player caught by Adam Bassingthwaighte.
Wickets continued to fall rapidly, with only two batters reaching double figures, as Langleybury were all out for 49 in the 25th over.
Simon Lindop with 4-20 was the pick of the bowlers. Dom Clutterbuck took 3-10, Ben Twohig 2-6 and Pike 1-5.
Bassingthwaighte (28 not out) and Joe Hawkins immediately showed their intent and Stortford were just two runs short of victory in the seventh over when Hawkins was dismissed for 19. Twohig sealed the win with a four and the game was over at 1.30pm.
With a return to the Premier Division following a two-year absence completed, the first XI returned to Cricketfield Lane to support Bishop’s Stortford II in their Division 4A relegation head-to-head with Langleybury II.
Stortford won the toss and decided to bat. With the score on 48-4 it was up to Will Cutland-Smyth (37) and Tom Howes (15) to steady the ship. The innings closed on 144.
Langleybury lost wickets at regular intervals with Tim Smith (3-18) picking up the early ones. While Suliman Manzoor was at the crease it looked like the visitors could have the edge, but when he was out, bowled by Zak Wilson (3-38) for 33, the remainder of the wickets fell cheaply and Langleybury were all out for 120.
Other wicket takers were James Woollerson (2-23) and Liam Mays (1-22).