Saracens Hertfordshire League: Bishop’s Stortford beat Preston to go top of Championship Division
Joe Hawkins was one of three Bishop's Stortford batsmen to hit half-centuries as they beat Preston to go top of the Saracens Hertfordshire League, Championship Division.
The hosts triumphed by 49 runs at Cricketfield Lane and are now 15 points clear of both Langleybury and Old Owens, who they visit this Saturday, at the summit.
Stortford captain Tommy Burslem had no hesitation in batting first on a flat track under sunny skies after winning the toss in what was the last 50-over contest before the start of the longer-format matches.
Hawkins top-scored with an excellent 84 and there were fine contributions from Adam Bassingthwaighte (61) and Ben Twohig (59) as the home team piled on 287 for 5.
Preston began positively but, after they lost their first wicket with the score on 89 when Simon Lindop pulled off a catch on the boundary off the bowling of Jonny Gaffney, the target proved too much.
There were three wickets apiece for Matt Pike and Dom Clutterbuck, and Twohig and Lindop got the others as the visitors closed on 238 for 9.
In Division 4A, Bishop's Stortford II suffered a 129-run defeat at the hands of Cheshunt Rosedale.
Charlie Freeman (3 for 26) and Max Walter (2 for 29) reduced their opponents to 26 for 5 as electing to bowl appeared to be an inspired decision.
But a 105-run partnership in the middle order proved frustrating and Cheshunt put 205 all out on the board.
Stortford's reply never got going and only Benji Furrer (24) and Haitel Patel (14) reached double figures as they were all out for a disappointing 76.
The Nomads won by five wickets against Northwood Town II in their first game in 7A.
Ollie Williams (4 for 14) and Aidan Murphy (3 for 33) starred with the ball as they limited their opponents to 119 for 9.
Murphy steadied the ship alongside Hugh Williams (46 not out) after Stortford slipped to 14 for 3 in reply before the latter's brother Ollie (31 not out) joined him in an unbroken 67-run stand to get them to 124 for 5.
Bishop's Stortford III were beaten by 50 runs when they visited North Weald in the Tees Herts & Essex Border League, Premier Division.
Adrian Wacey (4 for 20) and Sam Howlett (3 for 27) had the hosts in trouble on 67 for 7, but an eighth-wicket stand worth 68 allowed them to recover to 148 all out.
Only three batsmen made double figures in the reply as Stortford were unable to cope with the conditions and were bowled out for 98.
Teenager Elizabeth Clune returned to the attack with devastating effect as she helped Bishop's Stortford IV beat Bengeo by 12 runs at home in Division Two.
Bengeo were edging towards their victory target when 15-year-old opening bowler Clune took two wickets in as many deliveries to finish with 3 for 18 and leave the visitors all out for 167.
Jay Ward (3 for 36) and Anu Senanayake (1 for 22) were also among the wickets.
Stortford had earlier recovered from three crazy run outs to post a respectable 179 for 8 thanks to Mark Smith's unbeaten 81 and a knock of 35 from Grahame Smith.