Day one of the 2024 Herts Cricket League Championship season did not go to plan for both Letchworth and Preston.

Both were beaten, Letchworth by 33 runs away to Chorleywood while Preston went down by 82 runs at home to Hemel Hempstead Town.

Letchworth had won the toss and put the hosts into bat, with 3-33 from Joe Davidson and two wickets each for Richard Stewart and Sajjad Homyoon keeping Chorleywood to 208-8 in their 50 overs.

And the Garden City side almost pulled off a miraculous escape, having found themselves 115-9 in the 37th over.

Davidson (20*) and Zac Hayes put on a last-wicket stand of 60 to get Letchworth close before Hayes was out for 33 in 38 deliveries, and with two overs remaining.

Preston meanwhile found Hemel in superb form with the bat, making 303-3, but they did give it a go in reply.

Ed Wharton managed 60 in 49 balls while Pete Murrell (38), Jack Stevens (30) and Jack Bermingham (27) contributed well.

Knebworth Park had a brilliant winning start in Division Two B with a comfortable 97-run success at home to Holtwhites Trinibis.

A fine all-round performance by Charlie Randall paved the way, his 49 giving Knebworth the base to go on and make 266-7, and his opening bowling stifled the visitors response and gave him 1-18 from his 10 overs.

He wasn't the only one to shine though, new player Liam Mitchell struck a fine 82, part of a stand of 78 with Randall, and he then added 98 with Kobie Richmond (61*).

Dave Roberts took 3-30 in reply while the Richmonds, dad Alex and son Kobie, managed two wickets each.

Ickleford narrowly lost an epic match away to Letchworth seconds in Division Three A, seven runs the winning margin.

Letchworth amassed 266-8 thanks to a quick fire 88 from David Albon while Nadeem Akhtar was the pick of the Ickleford bowlers with 3-36, Eswar Krishnamurthy also taking 2-20.

Ickleford made a spirited reply, Sam Giggle getting a confident 38 and Krishnamurthy a fluent 68, before George Crouch dominated the middle order on his way to 79 not out.

There were good contributions elsewhere too but the escalating run rate meant Ickleford fell just short.

Ickleford's second team were well beaten by an impressive Old Elizabethans.

Scot Crouch took 3-54 and Ash Hussain 2-25 while Rob Day and Ollie Ellis-Holmes bowled tidily.

But Ickleford did not look like chasing the required total and they were dismissed for 95, Russell Dermont making 24, Sadat Sheraz 16 and Adam Ross 14.

The thirds lost a close game against Wheathampstead on an artificial pitch at Kimpton.

Losing the toss and fielding, Ickleford took wickets steadily with six bowlers used, the best of them being James Kench (2-21) and Harry Chan (2-29) while there was a debut wicket for Murad Jalili.

Ickleford recovered from 11-2 with a partnership of 44 between Tim Geldard (25) and Mark Howard before a steady stream of wickets fell.

There was further resistance from Chan (17) and Chris Coleman (17) but they were finally bowled out for 122 in the 38th over, losing by eight runs.

The Sunday team achieved a dramatic win off the fifth ball of the last over to beat Henlow Blues.

Henlow had scored 174-7 with Josh Schumann taking 2-23 before a confident 42 from David Baker gave Ickleford a good start.

Schumann showed his class with an excellent 68, well supported by Dan Barnes with 14, and when he was out, Ickleford were within sight of victory.

Hitchin had a tough day in Division One, beaten by 184 runs away to Sawbridgeworth.

Sam Rippington and Saad Waqas each got two wickets but the home side still made a formidable 286-7, and Hitchin never got close, Waqas top scoring with 26, one of only three to make double figures.

Stevenage continued the disappointing results with a seven-wicket loss at home to Radlett.

They made 126 batting first, 35 from last man Manohar Kosaraju dragging them into triple figures.

The reply though was done in 22 overs, Scott Davies managing to get 2-17.

Baldock went down by 29 runs to Rickmansworth in Division Six A.

Tim Dean got 4-21, James Rist 3-17 and there was 2-44 from Adam Hewitt, Alistair Jones the other wicket taker.

That left the home side on 130 but despite 21 from Hewitt and 20 for Andy Fitzgibbon, Baldock were all out in the 38th over.