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Bishop's Stortford forced to replay Readers County T20 tie after hail stops play

Bishop's Stortford will have to replay their Readers County T20 match with Letchworth Garden City after rain and hail forced Saturday's contest to be abandoned.

Radlett were declared the winners against Shenley in the first semi-final at Cricketfield Lane on the Duckworth-Lewis method.

But only four overs were possible in Stortford's match against Letchworth, who were 37-0, before the weather forced an early halt to proceedings.

Stortford, who visit West Herts for their opening Saracens Herts League, Premier Division fixture of the season this Saturday, will try again against Letchworth on Sunday, May 26, when the final will also be played.

The Stortford players leave the pitch after yet another hail shower. Picture: Vikki Lince
The Stortford players leave the pitch after yet another hail shower. Picture: Vikki Lince

There was better news on the second ground where the fourths beat Harlow V by eight wickets in Tees Herts & Essex League, Division Five.

The hosts responded to the visitors' 140 for 7 with 142 for 2 as captain Anthony Foster hit an unbeaten 76.

The thirds were also victorious at North Weald in Division Two. The hosts registered 165 for 6 before Grahame Smith (52 not out) and Tom Waring (79 not out) got the visitors home in the 33rd over.

But Stortford ladies had a disappointing Sunday at Hursley Park as they lost both of their T20 matches.

Meanwhile, Sawbridgeworth's first XI will take a step into the unknown this season, but newly appointed captain Steve Ashman believes it could bring the best out of his young squad.

Two relegations in three seasons mean Sawbridgeworth are in Saracens Herts League, Division One for the first time. Experienced duo Danny Wilson and Mickey Burrell have also departed but Ashman, who has taken over from Charlie Mann, is undaunted.

"This is a fresh start in a new league with a lot of teams we know very little about – that should be good for us," said Ashman.

"We've lost Danny and Mick so this is a big chance for some younger players to come to the forefront and make their mark on the team and the club. There's a real buzz back in the dressing room and we're really looking forward to the challenges ahead.

"Promotion is of course the ultimate aim, but I don't want anyone to think about that at this stage. I just want these lads to play the cricket I know they're capable of. If they do that, the results and league position will take care of themselves."

Sawbridgeworth begin their bid to get back to the Championship with a home fixture against Preston at Town Fields this Saturday before a trip to Reed in the National Village Cup 24 hours later.

"Preston have come up from Division Two having won a lot of cricket matches last years – that's a habit we need to get into as soon as possible," said top-order batsman Ashman.

"Reed is a difficult trip in the Village Cup but we have aspirations to do well in that competition so I hope we can hit the ground running."

The second XI start their Division 4B campaign with a trip to Chorleywood while the third XI head to Three Caps in Tees Herts & Essex League, Division Four. Andrew Dongworth's side began their season at the weekend with an 11-run loss to Bengeo. Despite 41 from James Bovaird, George Clayden's 33 and 37 not out from Paul James, the home side fell short of their target.

Elsewhere in the Tees League, Stansted were 62-run winners over Little Hallingbury in Division Two and Farnham beat Thorley I by eight wickets.

In Division Three, Birchanger I saw off Willingale by six wickets. In Division Four, Hockerill I defeated South Loughton II by seven wickets while Takeley II's match with Essendon was abandoned.

In Division Five, Hockerill II beat Birchanger II by six wickets, as did Stansted & Elsenham II against Albury.

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