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Sawbridgeworth’s league campaign ends with a whimper as they are bowled out by Hitchin for 83

Sawbridgeworth’s Saracens Hertfordshire Cricket League, Division One campaign ended with a whimper as they were bowled out for just 83 at Hitchin on Saturday, writes Richard White.

Both sides needed to win and hope for other results to go in their favour, but in the end Matt Billings’ side were comfortably beaten by six wickets to finish fifth in the table.

This was a disappointing ending for Sawbo, but they paid the price for winning only one game in the last seven weeks of the season, albeit this included a complete washout against Chorleywood and last week’s ‘no result’ with Leverstock Green.

Hitchin’s Duncan Howells, who took six wickets at Town Fields nine weeks ago, led a fantastic bowling performance. He set the tone from the very first ball of the day when he cleaned up Rob Sanders for a golden duck. Howells again bowled his 10 overs off the reel, taking 3-21.

Steve Ashman (26) was the only Sawbo player to reach double figures as the visitors were shot out midway through the 31st over.

In reply, Hitchin’s opening pair of Luke Day (22) and Saad Waqas (41 off 27 balls) put on 57 at just under a run a ball before Sawbo picked up four wickets, with three falling to Amit Gupta (3-15), who finished with 25 for the season.

Billings took two catches at leg slip to dismiss Day and Will Guest off successive deliveries before Matt Maylin smashed the hat-trick ball to the boundary as Hitchin, who finished third, wrapped up victory in 18.3 overs.

However, there were last-day victories for Sawbridgeworth’s other teams.

The second XI’s seven-wicket demolition of Baldock not only ensured a respectable sixth-place finish in Division 5B but also saw their opponents relegated by two points.

Andrew Dongworth (4-23), Sam Shemwell (3-11), Nick Dale (2-22) and William Offer (1-32) combined to bundle out the visitors for just 89. Offer (22*) later featured in an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 44 with Rhys Ashman (19*) to give Harry Gale’s side their sixth win of the season.

Meanwhile, Sawbo III rounded off a magnificent season as they defeated North Weald by 71 runs to finish third in Division One of the Tees Herts and Essex Border League, a year after winning promotion.

Kieran Morgan starred with bat and ball, top-scoring with 46 and taking 4-13 in his eight overs. He featured in an opening partnership of 94 with James Bovaird (42). Other double-figure contributions came from Charles Robinson (18), Ophir Diemaker (13) and Phil Hyam, who scored 21 in his final game as captain.

The home side were all out for 176, a total they defended comfortably as they dismissed Weald for just 101 to record their ninth win of a brilliant campaign. Romesh Paktsun (3-14), Travis Morgan (2-16) and Robinson (1-33) were the other successful bowlers.

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