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Sawbridgeworth and Bishop's Stortford suffer Saracens Hertfordshire Cricket League defeats

Sawbridgeworth remain third from bottom of Saracens Hertfordshire League, Division One after a 140-run home defeat by Ickleford.

After another toss went against captain Steve Ashman, the visitors piled up an imposing 266 for 8 in their 50 overs.

Will Jones was the pick of the bowlers, returning 3 for 47 with his leg spin, while fellow spinner Zisan Abedin and opening bowler Sean Black picked up two wickets each.

Sawbridgeworth v Ickleford. Will Jones and Steve Ashman celebrate a wicket. Picture: Vikki Lince
Sawbridgeworth v Ickleford. Will Jones and Steve Ashman celebrate a wicket. Picture: Vikki Lince

The reply never got going once opener Rob Sanders fell cheaply and the pitch slowed up even further to suit the spinners in the opposition attack.

Luke and Matt Marsden accounted for seven of the wickets to fall as Sawbo were dismissed for 126 in the 42nd over.

Brad Oakes' 26 and 21 for the returning Joe Holland, playing his first game for the club since 2012, were the top scorers.

Sawbridgeworth v Ickleford. Zisan Abedin bowling. Picture: Vikki Lince
Sawbridgeworth v Ickleford. Zisan Abedin bowling. Picture: Vikki Lince

The second XI are still rooted to the foot of Division 4B as they put up a brave fight in a four-wicket defeat away to Holtwhites Trinibis II.

Alex Syed's men were well set to post 200-plus when they were 76 for 1 in the 22nd over, but once Raheem Sohail fell for 28 a familiar batting collapse ensued. Only 39 from opener Joe Rickett helped them post 145 out.

They were still in the game when they reduced the hosts to 69 for 4, but the home side held their nerve to pass their target in the 34th over – George Clayden's 2 for 23 the pick of the attack.

The third XI were beaten by five wickets in Tees Law Herts & Essex League, Division Four after a brutal batting assault by Hockerill captain Adam Commercial.

Sawbridgeworth v Ickleford. Bowler Sam Tims. Picture: Vikki Lince
Sawbridgeworth v Ickleford. Bowler Sam Tims. Picture: Vikki Lince

High-flying Hockerill asked the home side to bat on a tricky pitch and they battled their way to 157 for 7 thanks to 46 from Ollie Bruton and Ian Bowler's 32.

When Kevin Youngs made an early breakthrough it appeared game on, but Commercial had other ideas as he hammered 10 fours and four sixes in a rapid 73.

David Jones' 2 for 21 did peg the visitors back, but Commercial's side cruised home in the 21st over to stay second in the table.

Sawbridgeworth v Ickleford. Sean Black dives for the ball. Picture: Vikki Lince
Sawbridgeworth v Ickleford. Sean Black dives for the ball. Picture: Vikki Lince

Meanwhile, Reece Hussain's unbeaten century proved to be in vain as Bishop's Stortford were beaten by six wickets at Radlett in the Saracens Hertfordshire League, Premier Division.

Kris Arul also hit an undefeated three-figure score for the second-placed hosts, with the visiting bottom side now facing a huge task to preserve their top-flight status.

Radlett, with a high-class opening bowling attack, won the toss and put Stortford in to bat on a lively pitch hoping to bowl them out cheaply.

Stortford soon found themselves in trouble as out-of-form opener Eddie Ballard was dismissed early for a duck, followed by captain Dom Chatfield (four) and Adam Bassingthwaighte (seven), all caught behind by wicketkeeper Tom Jenkins off the tall and pacey Randeep Sanghera.

Reece Hussain, showing his best form of the season, stood firm as 42 for 3 soon became 63 for 5, with Tommy Burslem, Jonny Gaffney and the tail-end batsmen hanging around long enough to help him reach a well-deserved and unbeaten 120.

His ton and the support he received meant Stortford's innings ended on 215 for 9 after 60 overs.

In response, Radlett got off to a fast start with Josh de Caires hitting a quick-fire 21 before he fell victim to Travis Hussain.

But the wickets dried up for Stortford as Arul and Will Wright built a partnership of 140 before the latter was adjudged stumped for 57 with the score on 165 for 2.

Radlett captain Kabir Toor fell at the same score, both to seamer Chris Thomas, but opener Arul was still there looking comfortable on 82.

The Stortford bowlers continued to toil as spinner Simon Lindop took the key wicket of overseas Nathan Smith, before he suffered a serious finger injury attempting a return catch and required hospital treatment, leaving Stortford with 10 men for the final few overs.

Radlett had broken the back of the run chase and Arul accelerated to complete a fine 111 not out as his team crossed the winning line on 218 for 4 in the 54th over.

"It was a better performance, but Radlett are one of the best sides in the league and were too strong for us," said Chatfield.

"Unfortunately, other results went against us and we are still firmly anchored at the foot of the table."

The second XI lost by five wickets when they took on Letchworth Garden City II in 3A.

Mel Hussain (77) and Matt Pike (75) laid the foundations in their total of 250 for 8.

At one point they had Letchworth wobbling on 102 for 5, but Dave Albon and Liam Bishton were unbeaten on 86 and 74 respectively as they added 151 for the sixth wicket to win the match.

Anuruddha Senanayake hit 60 as the third XI were removed for 170 and fell short of Little Hallingbury's 256 all out in Tees Law Herts & Essex League, Division Two.

The fourth XI fared much better as a fantastic partnership of 233 between Anthony Foster (127 not out) and Mark Vasey (95 not out) saw them post 257 for 1 to set up a Division Five win against Hockerill II, whom they bowled out for 104.

Stortford Ladies climbed off the bottom of the Women's Southern League, Premier Division table as they made it back-to-back wins by beating St Lawrence & Highcourt on Sunday.

Batting first, Stortford scored 240 for 8 off their 50 overs. The opposition did their best to chase down the total as opener Maxine Blythin struck 111, but they fell just short and were bowled out for 233.

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