Knebworth Park kept the pressure on the top two in Division Two B of the Herts Cricket League with a tense and hard-fought four wicket success over Flitwick.

Charlie Randall was the home hero with an unbeaten and painstaking 50 after they had been in deep trouble chasing a meagre total of 124.

Three of their first four batsmen fell without scoring and although Josh Roseberry (27) assisted Randall in the initial recovery from 2-2, at 37-4 they were still very much in the mire.

Archie Stephens and Kobie Richmond patiently provided Randall with vital support to take them in sight of the winning line while Alex Richmond chipped in with 11 not out to complete the win with plenty of overs to spare.

Randall had taken 2-16 opening the bowling and, along with Gareth Jones, they had Flitwick reeling at 17-3.

They rallied to 71 before Stephens (3-27) and Kobie Richmond triggered a collapse as four wickets fell for only 20.

Spinners Alex Richmond (2-1) and Jack Orchard (1-4) whisked away the last few to dismiss them for 124. 

This ninth win of the season cemented third place in the league with two matches remaining but still an agonising 19 behind the second promotion slot.

The second team were comfortably beaten by 109 runs at Hertford, relegating them from Division Six A.

They did pick up 13 points though, closing the gap to Letchworth above them to just two.

Park had won the toss and asked Hertford to bat and restricted them to 94-3 off 25 overs.

And once the fourth-wicket partnership of 161 between Cliff Cavener (95) and Connor Ives (86) was broken, wickets fell regularly with Hertford finishing on 281-9.

Knebworth's reply started slowing and by the 17th over had only reached 43-2.

James Hobbs (38) and James Bedford (42) increased the run rate until Bedford was out hit wicket with the score on 112.

Wickets continued to fall with little impact on the score apart from Jack Randall who scored 37 out of the 39 runs collected after the sixth wicket, Park all out in the 41st over for 163.

David Mantle's wily swing bowling bagged him a hat-trick and 5-17 as the thirds eased to a 10-wicket win over Stevenage 5ths. 

At 14-5 and then 20-8, Stevenage were on the ropes all through their innings with only a late rally from Zach Vernon (45) got them to 80.

Knebworth's U13 Trent Hildebrandt took 2-15.

In response the Hassall father and son pair of Adam (23) and Ryan (48) saw Knebworth home to lift them out of the bottom two in Division 10 North. 

The fourths lost by eight wickets at Wheathampstead.

They grafted hard for 109-8 with Tom Ruxton junior getting 60 not out but Wheathampstead got home in 22 overs.

Datchworth beat Totteridge Millhillians in Division Three A, Mitch Constable taking 4-32 and scoring 43 while Tom Bennett chipped in with 4-33.

Ickleford's relegation from Division Two A was confirmed by a 63-run loss to table-topping Lutonian.

They restricted the top dogs to 201-9 in their 50 overs with Nadeem Akhtar taking 3-40 and Richard Peareth 2-37.

But they never got close to the target as the batting again failed to function, finishing all out for 138.

Just two players went beyond 20, George Crouch getting to 26 and Duncan Jenner with 24, while there was 16 for Jak Phillips.

The seconds lost to Northwood, bowled out for 92 in pursuit of 233-8.

Sid Suresh was the pick of the bowlers, with 3-36 off his ten overs, and was also the top scorer with the bat thanks to his 16.

Joe Dalrymple also took 2-40.

The thirds lost only their third league game of the season to Welwyn Garden City at Holwell.

The visitors batted first and reached a commanding 241-6 in their 40 overs, junior Harry Cox hitting nine fours and seven sixes in his score of 109.

Will Moore and Mark Howard each took two wickets for Ickleford who had a decent start with Dave Baker and Matteo Peareth putting on 46 for the first wicket, both finishing on 27.

Wickets fell regularly after that though and despite a resilient innings of 67 from Dave Pursey, Ickleford came up short at 150-7 to lose by 91 runs.

Sunday proved a momentous day for the club as they fielded two teams for the first time since 2017.

The Sunday firsts fell to a four-wicket loss at home to Flitwick.

They were dismissed for 167 with George Crouch top-scoring with 43. Charlie Jupp (17), Joe Dalrymple (20) and Luke Marsden (19) all made starts but failed to capitalise.

In reply Flitwick coasted home in the 28th over at 168-6, Luke Marsden taking 3-7.

The Sunday seconds won though, beating Flitwick at Marston Moretaine by six wickets.

The home side batted first and made 178-8 with some aggressive late hitting.

Ickleford used seven bowlers and five of them took wickets, Richard Peareth the only one to manage two.

In reply, they had slumped to 26-3 before a partnership of 99 between Ben Whelan (45) and Peareth (84*) set up the recovery before Jack Holmes (16*) joined Peareth to put on an unbeaten 54 for the fifth wicket and ease them home.

Back in Division Two A, Stevenage's hopes of promotion were all but ended by a four-wicket loss at Harpenden.

They made 210 after electing to bat, Scott Davies hitting 44 and Mike Philpotts 34 as they recovered from 117-7.

The reply though was done and dusted in the 45th over after an unbeaten seventh-wicket stand of 144 between Jack Killen (55*) and Joel Stewart (89*) rescued them from 68-6.

Sean Tyler took 4-50 for Stevenage.

Letchworth and Hitchin are still in the hunt for promotion from Division One in an extremely tight race.

Just 20 points separate the top five with two games to go and only Hitchin, who host second-placed Sawbridgeworth on the final weekend, face off against the others.

Both teams won on Saturday too.

Letchworth, who are fourth, five points away from second, beat third-placed Chorleywood by six wickets.

They bowled the visitors to Whitethorn Lane out for 150, Sam Kendle taking 4-45 while there was 2-23 for Zac Hayes.

In reply, 74 not out from David Sprittles was key to the win, gained with 16 overs in hand.

Hitchin meanwhile are fifth after a 52-run win at home to Old Elizabethans.

They were put into bat and made 234-9 with valuable contributions across the board.

All but three of their side made double figures, two of them who didn't were the two tailenders, with the high score being the 49 from Will Guest.

And they then bowled the visitors out for 182 in the 42nd over.

Shaftb Khalid took 4-38, Ramesh Ahmed 3-25 and there was 2-30 from Saad Waqas.

Preston confirmed their place in the Championship for next season after a five-wicket win over St Albans.

Daniel Scholz took 3-51 as the home side got to 230-6 in their 50 overs and then returned to smash an unbeaten 92 from 102 balls to guide Preston to victory in the 44th over.

Ed Wharton (46), Philip Simpson (33) and Jack Stevens (32*) were the others to make valuable runs.

Baldock Town are 13 points above the relegation places in Division Five B after a 93-run loss to Boxmoor.

Tim Dean was the pick of their bowlers with 4-31, James Rist and Alistair Jones chipping in with two wickets each, but only three batsmen got into double figures as they were all out for 70.