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Sawbridgeworth slip out of promotion places as St Margaretsbury defy bottom-of-the-table position

Sawbridgeworth slipped out of the Saracens Hertfordshire League, Division One promotion places as they were comfortably beaten by bottom side St Margaretsbury on Saturday.

Former Northamptonshire player David Murphy, who had scored a total of only 66 runs in his previous five knocks, returned to form with a vengeance with an unbeaten 65 as the hosts easily overhauled Sawbo’s under-par total of 212 with six wickets and more than seven overs to spare.

Murphy had also been the pick of the home side’s attack, returning impressive figures of 3-26 in 10 overs and needing only five balls to dismiss Amit Gupta (34), who edged behind to Noah Verdin to leave the visitors on 74-2.

Gupta had featured in an opening partnership of 58 with Luke Monger (23), but wickets fell regularly thereafter in what was a frustrating day with the bat for Sawbridgeworth.

Rehman Ahmed top-scored with 41 and George Kenny (34 not out) later ran out of partners as the visitors were all out with 11 balls of their 50-over allocation unused.

The game was in the balance midway through the 24th over as the ‘Bury reached 85-3, but Nick Anstead struck 53 off just 35 balls as he added 78 in 10.2 overs with Murphy, who was untroubled at the other end.

Murphy accounted for only 14 of the remaining 55 runs scored as Toby Jennings crashed 41 not out off just 26 balls, including four fours and two sixes, with the second taking the hosts to 218-4 and a first league win in six weeks.

Despite the result, Sawbridgeworth are just eight points behind second-placed Chorleywood (who lost to Hitchin) and the two sides will meet at Town Fields on Saturday in a game that will go a long way to decide who will go up this season.

It was a disappointing day for the club as the second and third teams lost to Boxmoor and Little Hallingbury respectively for the second time this season.

Sawbo II remain seventh in the Saracens Herts League, Division 5B following their 148-run defeat to Boxmoor, who piled up 272-8 at Town Fields after being put into bat.

The wickets were shared by Harry Gale (3-62), Nick Dale (2-64), Will Offer (1-48) and Andrew Dongworth (1-30), who batted at number 10 and top-scored with 18.

Sawbo were skittled out for 124 in just 27.2 overs and are now just 25 points ahead of the relegation zone after Northwood II defeated Baldock.

Meanwhile, SawboIII’s result saw them drop to fourth place in Division One of the Tees Herts and Essex Border League.

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