1sts & 3rds win, 2nds in dramatic draw, & Village Cup disappointment
Match Reports from 10th & 11th May 2014
Preston managed to dodge the majority of heavy showers in the area to secure a convincing 9 wicket victory over their hosts Baldock in Herts Division 2 on Saturday.
In bowler friendly conditions Preston found the going tough early on as Baldock’s opening pair made batting look particular easy on a difficult surface, reaching 38 without loss by the 12th over. The turning point of the match was the introduction of left arm spinner Max Anderson who cleaned bowled both Chandarana and French within his first 4 deliveries. This set the tone as Preston took the required 10 wickets for just a further 36 runs as Baldock were dismissed for 74 in the 35th over. Anderson continued his excellent start to the season with a sensational return of 7 for 22 from 11.5 overs, ably supported by both Henry Morecroft (2 for 17) and Andy Riant (1 for 10).
Preston set about their run chase in steady fashion, putting the bad ball away with relative ease as skipper Warren Hearne and Peter Williamson (16) took them to 34 without loss by the 10th over. The removal of Williamson to Tim Dean brought Callum Blair (17*) to the crease and with Hearne (42*) they chased down the target within 19 overs and 9 wickets in hand.
Saturday’s clash between Preston 2nds and Hoddesdon 2nds finished in a dramatic draw with the scores level. Batting first, Matt Burleigh (24) and Richard Gatehouse (23) helped ease Preston to 74 for 2, before an alarming middle-order collapse to 85 for 8 ended any hope of a large total. Skipper Ashly Catlin (40*) grimly held on as Preston finished on 118 for 9 from 47 rain reduced overs.
In reply, Hoddesdon batted carefully against off-spinner Pete Murrell (2 for 39 from 20 overs) and looked set for a comfortable win at 79 for 1. Then pressure mounted as the overs ticked away and wickets began to fall. Even so, Hoddesdon needed just 3 runs from the last over. But Preston’s fielders scored direct hit run-outs from the first two balls, and when Catlin (2 for 23) grabbed another wicket Hoddesdon still needed 2 runs from the last ball. They managed only a single and had to settle for a draw at 118 for 7.
Preston 3rds beat Ickleford 3rds in their derby match at Holwell. Captain Tom Maxwell and Dave Allen both grabbed 5 wickets to dismiss Ickleford for 80. Preston lost 5 quick wickets in response, but Nigel Biggs and Tom Carr saw Preston home with 3 wickets in hand.
On Sunday Preston’s Davidstow National Village Cup campaign came to an early end at Long Marston. Despite a fine 60 from Pete Murrell, Preston could only post 140 for 6 in their 40 overs against a strong bowling attack. In Baltic conditions this did not prove to be enough, and Long Marston eased home with 7 wickets and 15 overs in hand.