4 wins and a draw in fine weekend for Preston!
Preston 1sts v Old Albanians. Saracens League Div 2 Match – Saturday 7th June.
Preston secured an important 30 points on Saturday when they traveled in torrential rain to Div 2 leaders Old Albanians. Having moved changing rooms 3 times because no-one at OAs seemed to know where the away dressing room was, Preston won the toss and elected to bowl in tricky conditions. Opening quicks James Stevens and Mark Waters (ahem – ed.) made life difficult for OAs, with “ever reliable cliche” Waters returning figures of 5 for 27 from 17 overs. Off spinner Peter Murrell then gave excellent support with figures of 4 for 27 as OAs were dismissed for 133 in 51 overs. A chancy 42 from OA’s opener Rasool and a cool headed 35 later in the OA’s innings from Tom Lincoln were their highlights. They also appeared to have a good game of french cricket on the boundary.
In reply, Preston made heavy weather of the chase, losing wickets at important times. Batting was made particularly tough by OA’s impressive Mohzammel Hayat, whose superb display of controlled medium pace seam bowling returned figures of 3 for 30 in 20 overs. However, a very mature and gritty knock of 62 from James Stevens, who carried his bat throughout the Preston chase, meant OA’s total was over-taken in 45 overs.
Also contributing with the willow was little brother Jack Stevens, the blusty Max Anderson with some destructive shots and Peter Williamson showed composure at the end to support Jack in securing the win. The victory and 30 points takes Preston into 5th position in Saracens Herts League Div 2 and just 5 points from the top spot.
Preston 2nds v Hatfield Crusaders 2nds Saracens League Div 5 Match – Saturday 7th June.
Preston’s 2nd XI recorded a second successive win in Div 5 to take them to 7th position, only 24 points behind the leaders. Put into bat by Hatfield Crusaders 2nds, Preston made slow but steady progress, passing 100 in the 43rd over for the loss of two wickets. Led by skipper Ashly Catlin (40), Preston then accelerated and Andy Riant (24 from 14 balls) helped to take the final score to 163 for 6.
Crusaders began brightly in response with an opening stand of 43, but once a breakthrough was made Preston’s bowlers regularly took wickets. Nick Jones (3 for 24), Finlay Connah (3 for 17) and Andy Riant (3 for 34) combined to dismiss Crusaders for just 110, giving Preston a 53 run victory.
Preston 4ths v Stevenage 5ths Herts Div 11 East Saturday 7th June
A weakened Preston 4th team drew with Stevenage 5ths at St Christopher’s School. Skipper Dave Saunders invited the hosts to bat first, and once again the frugal Paul Brewer and Roger Hickman kept the scoring rate down. After 30 overs Stevenage were struggling on 80 for 3. However, Stevenage’s batsmen then broke loose to finish on 191 for 9. This was too many for Preston, who were content to hang on for a draw at 112 for 5. Top scorer was Hickman with 31 not out.
Preston Sunday 1sts v Bessborough, Chess Valley Div 3 Sunday 8th June
Preston travelled to Bessborough on Sunday for their opening fixture in the Chess Valley league, and enjoyed another victory thanks to a fine 70 from Pete Skeels. After Preston had bowled out their opponents for 203, Skeels led a good team batting performance as the target was chased down for the loss of just 3 wickets.
Preston Sunday 2s v Abbots Langley 2s – Chess Valley Div 7 – Sunday 8th June
Preston 2s beat Abbots Langley 2s in their first Chess Valley Sunday League game of the season to complete a fine weekend for the club. Both sides fielding a mixture of seasoned players and youth to help create a great game played in the right spirit. Three of Preston’s players had their first taste of senior cricket – Ronan Halpenny, Sid and Archie Davies who all bowled and fielding superbly. Abbots Langley posted 167 and Preston’s batsmen knocked it off with plenty of overs to spare and just 5 wickets down. Richard Gatehouse returned to form with 56, supported by Finlay Connah, Dave Fleckney and Jon Skirrow, but it was left to one of the young guns, Sid Davies, to hit the winning runs.