Saracens Hertfordshire League: Simon Lindop takes 500th league wicket for Bishop's Stortford as they take another step towards Championship Division title
Simon Lindop took his 500th league wicket for the first XI as Bishop's Stortford took another step towards the title by winning at Letchworth Garden City.
He reached the impressive milestone with 5-14 as his side secured a 38-run success over the bottom team to maintain their 18-point lead over Old Owens, who beat Luton Town & Indians, at the top of the Saracens Hertfordshire League, Championship Division.
Stortford host fourth-placed Hemel Hempstead Town on Saturday before ending the campaign at second-from-bottom Langleybury.
After being asked to bat first after losing the toss, Stortford made a brilliant start in the drizzle thanks to openers Joe Hawkins and Adam Bassingthwaighte. The former was caught on the boundary for a well-made 53 with the score on 118 and the latter was caught for an excellent 88 with the score on 187.
In the 42nd over with the score on 203-5, the rain increased and, on resumption, the game was reduced to 46 overs a side. Stortford completed their innings on 227-6 and, with a Duckworth-Lewis adjustment, Letchworth's target was increased to 243.
The hosts had everything to play for and were up with the run rate when their first wicket fell, caught by Joe Burslem off Lindop with the score on 59.
A seventh-wicket partnership of 53 took the Letchworth score to 165 before Jonny Gaffney took the wicket of George Denman (40).
Richard Stewart continued to bat well before being caught and bowled by Matt Pike for 49 with two balls of the game to go and the score on 204-8 as Stortford were victorious.
In Division 4A, the second XI gained a much-needed eight-wicket win over Watford Town II at Cricketfield Lane.
Losing the toss proved no problem as they produced a professional performance to dismiss the visitors for just 88. James Woolleson led the way with 3-10, Tim Smith took 2-10 and Sam Robinson 2-25. There was a wicket apiece for Liam Mays and Adrian Wacey.
Opener Haitel Patel then carried his bat as his faultless 48 not out guided the hosts to 89-2.
In the Tees Herts & Essex Border League, Premier Division, the third XI lost by eight wickets as opponents Stansted Hall & Elsenham clinched the league title.
Having elected to bat first, Stortford were kept to 131-9 in a game reduced to 30 overs per side due to the bad weather, with Jaya Fernando (39) the only batsman to make a noteworthy score.
Hall captain and opener Nick Price led the charge in reply as he carried his bat for 59 to steer them to 132-2 with plenty of overs to spare as they were crowned champions.