Ones and Threes Flying High

Match reports for Saturday 26th May 2018

Preston 1st XI v Northwood SHCL Div 2A

Preston produced their most accomplished display of the season with a comprehensive 8 wicket victory over Northwood.

For the first time this season Preston were asked to bowl first and they set about their task in fantastic fashion with both opening bowlers Mark Waters (10/3/18/0) and James Stevens (6/1/15/0) bowling with great skill and control, however both were very unfortunate to remain wickets less from their spells. The visitors reached 45 without loss by the 20th over and looked set to push on and up their sluggish run rate, however 20 overs later they had been reduced to 92 for 6 thanks to spinners Jack Stevens (10/2/24/1), David Fleckney (5/1/12/2) and Max Anderson (10/3/19/3) in an innings that lacked direction and leadership. Northwood closed their innings on a somewhat peculiar 125 for 6 from their allocated 50 overs.

Preston set about their run chase in confident fashion punishing the bad balls and rotating the strike with ease as James Stevens (63*) with twin Jack (21) and Louis Balcombe (10*) combined to ease them home to victory in the 22nd over with 2 wickets down.

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Preston 2nd XI v London Colney 1st XI SHCL Div 5A

Preston travelled to London Colney and unfortunately lost the toss,to find themselves in the field. The poor outfield meant scoring was hard and LC progressed slowly to be 51/0 at drinks off 17 overs, this could have been less apart from the numerous wides and poor ground fielding, as the innings progressed the poor ground fielding continued and along with 4 drop catches LC were able to have a launch pad for the last 10 overs as they had 9 wickets in hand. With the LC skipper riding his luck and his strength enabling him to find the boundaries unlike his partner the score raced to 243/3 off 50 overs, probably 60 to many. Pick of the bowlers Olly G 1/28 off 10.

The reply was steady as Tom and Will made up for the early loss of Mark to get us to 81/1 of 23 overs but then an almighty collapse as the deep fields and slow bowling tore through our line up to bowl us out for 125 in 38 overs. It goes without saying this was one of the worst performances for a long time, so lets move forward.

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Preston 3rd XI v Abbots Langley 3rds SHCL Div9B

The Thirds continued their excellent start to the season with an 8 wicket victory at home against Abbots Langley 3rds.

The visitors had conceded 381 runs the previous week, and after being put into bat were admirably determined to make amends. Ian Hamilton, in his first game of the season, was allowed to settle into a miserly spell of ten overs for 8 runs as the top order batsmen set out their stall to bat for 50 overs. The innings never got away from Preston, but it was difficult to take wickets and in the end four of them came from run outs, thanks to some top fielding by Iain Purton, Chris Harper (direct hit), Oli Catlin combined with an athletic dive and flick by Martin Pierce, and another run out for Luke Ponder. The youngsters all bowled good spells, Luke Ponder winning an LBW and Alex Williamson and Oli Catlin also picking up a wicket each. Abbots closed their innings on 159 for 9.

Skipper Iain Williamson decided to open, and he was soon in the groove, putting away any bad ball. At the other end Bomber Burleigh had one of his “I’ll just hold my end up innings”, and when he departed after a partnership of 67, Oli Catlin came in and hooked his first ball for four. A tiring Skinny eventually fell for 89, but Oli was in good form and his 39 not out helped Preston comfortably home in the 36th over.

After four rounds Preston 3rds are joint top of Div 9B alongside Sandridge 2nds, but there are tougher games coming up now against 3rd placed Hemel Hempstead 4ths next week and Sandridge after that.

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Preston 4th XI v Botany Bay 2nds Reg Div B East

The 4th team were afforded the luxury of playing on the Botany Bay first team pitch on Saturday when they took on the BB 2nd team on a glorious sunny and warm afternoon. Preston took to the field, with the in-form Rupert Bruce and Tom Spinks opening the attack. BB wickets soon began to fall as the Bruce (2-23) reeled them in with his beguiling variations of flight, seam and spin. Spinks chipped in with 1-35 until handing over to Newell (2-32) and Biggs (1-18) and with Botany Bay at 50-5, things were looking good for Preston. When no.7 Oueb arrived at the crease the tide changed as he nudged and nurdled his way to 44* despite Mark Carter taking 2-20 at the other end and Gabe Ryan sending down a hostile mix of leg spin and pace. The BB innings closed at 144-9 which included a disappointing 19 wides and 6 no balls which were to prove crucial.

Preston started the chase in positive fashion and looked well set at 40-0 after 13 overs. However, a bowling double change slowed the pace and only six runs came from the next six overs. Biggs (23) departed when trying to up the pace but skipper Saunders (21) struck some lusty blows until he, Pomeroy (15) and Robbins (0) fell in quick succession. Youngster Gabe Ryan (16) took up the challenge with a 40 run stand with Chris Newell (19*) but by now Preston were chasing the game needing 8 an over, which proved too much as the last four wickets fell for 14 runs and 123 all out.

On the positive side, we were able to field a 4th team which acquitted itself well against a Botany Bay club which has imploded in recent years and is only able to field two elevens. Well done boys, great spirit and all round effort once again!

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