3 wins out of 4 ain’t bad. Pity about Sunday.
Match reports for 14th/15th May 2016.
Preston 1st XI v Old Finchleians, SHCL Div 2A
Preston skipper David Fleckney won the toss and chose to make first use of the conditions at Old Finchleians. Openers Warren Hearne and Justin Powick dug in early, saw off the new ball and set a platform for a large total. Hearne was the first to go with the score at 71. Powick carried on, compiling partnerships of 45 and 50 with Paul Barker and Fleckney before bringing up his maiden Herts league hundred, and his third of his debut season in English club cricket. He finally went for 111, run out with the Preston score at 191. Ben Hill and Anthony Ender then ran a tired looking Finchleians side ragged, adding a further 58 and Preston finished the innings on an imposing 249 for 5 from their 50 overs.
Casey Hughes and Seb Walton-Adams took the new ball and bowled with some good pace and control, forcing 2 early wickets and applying pressure to the run rate. Max Anderson then crashed through the Old Finchleians middle order with a spell of 5 wickets for just 3 runs in 18 balls, and overall figures of 5 for 30 off 10 overs. With the game well and truly won, the lower order stuck around and made a nuisance of themselves. They reached 152 before Ender castled the number 11 to record maximum 30 points for Preston for the second week running.
Preston look to continue their winning start at Watford next week.
Preston 2nd XI v Hitchin 2nd XI, SHCL Div 5A
Preston 2s local derby match with Hitchin 2s ended in a three wicket defeat as Hitchin got past the target of 181 with 8 balls to spare.
Despite a slow, low pitch with a lush outfield, runs came easily enough for Preston’s top order but at the expense of regular wickets. After Barry Turner’s bright 22 was ended by Nathan Page, Preston, having chosen to bat first, subsided to 103-6 with Hitchin’s slower bowlers maintaining a tight grip (27 overs at 2.5 per over) supported by good outfielding. Captain Ashly Catlin’s determined 67 not out then found support from all-rounder Mark Waters (26) in a stand of 65 which enabled Preston to push on to 181-8 from their 50 overs, around par in the conditions. Goddard took 4 for 32 for Hitchin, though the slow bowling of Smith (2 for 25) and Thomson (1 for 21) from their 10 over spells made the more telling contributions.
Hitchin’s reply started poorly with Ollie Gallimore (3 for 33) inducing inside edges to bowl three of the top four in an 8 delivery burst. After 17 overs Hitchin had reached 47-5 and Preston looked favourites to go on to win. However, the home team laboured against a decisive 6th wicket partnership between opener Chris Maylin, who survived a strong early LBW appeal to compile a beautifully-judged, patient innings of 87 not out and Bell, who overcame injury to score a determined 52. By the time Preston broke their 115 run partnership the game was almost up and Preston were left to rue, for the second week running, mistakes in the field which proved the key difference between the two sides.
Scorecard (and Hitchin’s report!)
Preston 3rd XI v Hertingfordbury 2nd XI, SHCL Div 10B
Preston 3rds strong line up again reached 250 batting first, this time at Hertingfordbury’s excellent ground and pitch. Matt Burleigh (82) found conditions to his liking as he anchored the innings, with good contributions from skipper John Garnham (24) and a century partnership with Andrew Hedges (42). Tom Mercer (25) and Simon Luxton (15) finished the innings in style with a rapid 41 run partnership in 5 overs to take Preston to maximum batting points.
Once again opening bowlers Bhav Patel and Iain Purton kept the opposition quiet, picking up 3 wickets between them in the process. But Hertingfordbury is a fast scoring ground and difficult to defend, and the home team’s middle order started to threaten Preston’s score. A good spell from Hedges kept Preston in the game, with Nigel Biggs assisting with another superb diving catch on the boundary. Finally, Tom Mercer removed Bury’s captain and best batsman thanks to a terrific one handed catch by Garnham behind the stumps. Bury then quickly subsided to 204 all out to give the Thirds a second successive win and maximum league points so far.
Preston 4th XI v Potters Bar 4th XI, Regional Division B East
The 4th XI’s first match at our new home at Whitwell ended in a superb win. Potters Bar 4th’s total of 191 was chased down largely thanks to a fine debut from Graham Hull, who after taking 3 for 42 scored a sensible 43 to anchor the innings. But overall it was a great team performance and bodes well for the rest of the season.
Preston Sunday 1st XI v Datchworth, National Village Cup
Preston travelled to nearby Datchworth for this season’s opening, and as it proved, final, National Village Cup match, capping their performance with a memorable batting collapse.
Skipper Pete Murrell invited Datchworth to bat while forgetting we didn’t have a ball, so Datchworth gave us theirs to use while the Fixture Secretary returned to the village to get one. Ollie Gallimore and Seb Walton-Adams used it to good effect and picked up wickets. Luke Bennett then showed some class for the home side, quickly reaching 50 before Max Anderson bowled him. Anderson was convinced Luke’s brother Tom was immediately LBW first ball, but the decision was not out and Tom also compiled a classy unbeaten 50. Wickets fell steadlily at the other end and Datchworth were all out in their 40th and final over for 195, Seb Walton-Adams finishing with 3 for 23 from 8 overs.
Justin Powick was ineliglible for the NVC, so Preston sent the limping Casey Hughes to open with veteran Matt Burleigh, and the decision looked a good one as Hughes launched an enormous 6 back over the bowler’s head and 3 gardens beyond the boundary. The watching Preston spectators thoroughly enjoyed the moment, but sadly Hughes was then bowled trying to smite another full delivery. Burleigh (17) and Blair (10) ticked along before a 40 run partnership between Pete Murrell (34) and Ben Hill (16) took Preston to 98 for 3 at the half way drinks break.
On the resumption Pete Murrell tried to take an optimistic second run and was short of his ground as the bails came off. Suddenly, Preston went from favourites to numpties as panic set in and a succession of poor shots saw a classic batting collapse to 108 for 9. Seb Walton-Adams then managed to take the score to 123 before he too fell to complete the rout. Even 1990s England would have been proud to lose 7 wickets for 25 in fine batting conditions.
Congratulations to Datchworth and good luck in the next round. One of these years Preston might actually put in a decent Village Cup run….
Talking of great batting collapses, here’s Curtley Ambrose:
And as I can hear our Australian readers giggling, here’s Curtley again: