Tables in the Herts Cricket League are starting to take shape after matches in round three - where some clubs had great days.

Preston were one of them, winning all four matches played.

The Comet: Preston's Luke Marsden lurks on the boundary moments before Omar Faleel clean bowls the final Letchworth wicket. Picture: PRESTON CCPreston's Luke Marsden lurks on the boundary moments before Omar Faleel clean bowls the final Letchworth wicket. Picture: PRESTON CC (Image: Preston Cricket Club)

Preston enjoyed victory over Letchworth in the Championship, winning by 68 runs at home.

The visitors had inserted Preston but the home side capitalised, using all their 50 overs to reach a competitive, if possibly under-par, 231.

Wharton fell just shy of another half century as he got to 41, supported by decent knocks from skipper Jake George (47) and George Biggs (37).

In reply Letchworth could only muster 163 as they were all out in the 47th over, David Sprittles getting 42, Tom Manning 34 and Harry Aitkenhead 25.

Aussie Jack Bermingham snared a couple of wickets for Preston with Luke Marsden, Justin Powick and Pete Murrell all picking up vital wickets to restrict the visitors.

This was a first win for Preston going with their tie last week. Letchworth only have their tied result from one week earlier to show so far.

Preston's seconds continued their unbeaten start in Division Four B as they beat Northampton Exiles by seven wickets.

Opting to bowl first on what looked like an interesting wicket, they held the home side to 87, the evergreen Mark Waters claiming a miserly 3-10 in his 10 overs.

Skipper David Fleckney mopped up the Exiles tail with 3-6.

Preston took their time in reply seeing the wicket still had a big part to play but a sensible and patient innings from Lachie Turner set up the win in under 30 overs.

The thirds beat Hemel Hempstead by 47 runs, in-form Amit Rajani helping himself to another 50 supported by skipper Nick Staddon (37) and young Luke Ponder (29).

The Preston bowlers then mounted the pressure from ball one with James Skirrow taking 3-15 off his eight overs.

The fourths completed the run of success by just one run against Stevenage fifths.

Preston made 110 batting first, 32 coming from Dan Phillips while Stevenage's top bowler was Amey Salvi with 4-16.

But Preston's opening bowling pair of Neil Tompkins and Josh Ashby claimed early wickets and the introduction of Srini Nanjundan brought him 3-28 and really put Stevenage under the cosh.

A brilliant run out from Rishabh Srinivasan caused further dents in the Stevenage line-up, whose top scorer was Saurabh Bansal with 31.

And Phillips completed the win by trapping Luke Allen for 10 in the 40th over.

Preston were also supposed to play on Sunday in the Village Cup but opponents Sawbridgeworth conceded, putting Preston into the Beds & Herts regional final on June 9 against Reed or Botany Bay.

The Comet: Preston's ladies in the practice nets. Picture: PRESTON CCPreston's ladies in the practice nets. Picture: PRESTON CC (Image: Preston Cricket Club)

And there is more good news for Preston as their women's squad takes shape.

A spokesman said: "They have been hard at work this week with more net training and fielding sessions prior to their first game against Ickwell Green on June 10.

"This is a very important step for the club and one we hope to continue build on and see more women's cricket at Preston."

Elsewhere, devastating pace bowling by Kobie Richmond and Charlie Randall powered Knebworth Park to the top of Division Two B with a trouncing of Flitwick at home.

Richmond's first five-wicket haul of 5-26, together with Randall's 4-29, ripped the visitors' batting line-up apart and paved the way to a 119-run success.

Randall had two clean bowled in his first over and they had Flitwick reeling at 42-9 and only a last wicket stand lifted the total to 86 all out. 

They were chasing Park's 206-6 which was hard earned on a surface lacking pace after the midweek rain. 

Both openers Louis Champion and Haydon Bartlett-Tasker fell cheaply seeking to force the pace but Charlie Randall (44) and Liam Mitchell (17) showed patience and careful shot selection to establish a strong foundation in a crucial 58 third-wicket partnership. 

Kobie Richmond chipped in with 15 but as they stumbled to 99-5, Flitwick, who had also won their opening two games, held hope of a winning position.

But Archie Stephens (42 not out) and Rob Morley (19) triggered a fine recovery in a stand of 57.

More was to come as an unbeaten 31 from Dave Roberts was part of a run-a-ball 50 that took the final score.

Ickleford are also top of the table after three games, all after beating St Albans by five wickets in Division Three A.

They bowled first and simply ripped apart the visitors' batting line-up on a wicket that was consistent but low and slow.

Nadeem Akhtar finished with man of the match figures of 4-17, brilliantly supported by Michael Day who deserved more than his 1-35.

George Crouch and Duncan Jenner replaced the openers and continued to take wickets as St Albans were all out in 24 overs.

Eden Scott top scored with 29 as he and Archie McIntosh steadied the ship after a couple of early wickets.

Crouch also scored a quick 18.

The seconds added to the wins, beating Southgate Adelaide by nine wickets

Southgate batted first and made 145 although Ickleford were always in control in the field.

Young spinners Leo and Harry Chan bowed impressively, with Leo taking 2-15 and Harry 2-24 before Ash Hussain cleaned up the tail with 3-25.

Ickleford were rarely in trouble chasing down the total.

Russell Dermont made a fluent 61 and was the only casualty as he put on 120 for the first wicket with skipper Harry Saunders.

Saunders finished 58 not out as Ickleford sauntered home with overs to spare.

The thirds were away to Hitchin fourths and lost by seven wickets.

Ickleford got to 152 in their 40 overs, a quickfire 17 from Jake Ellis Holmes before Sydney Miranda (35) and Aruna Perera (41) batted well.

Hitchin started well and after a couple of quick wickets gave them some concerns before Chris White made 76 not out to get them home.

The father and son Pereras, Akein and Aruna, bowled well and took a wicket each while earlier on, Harry White took 4-25 for Hitchin.

Ickleford's Sunday team also played against Hitchin and made 191-6 batting first, Jak Phillips making an assured 53 while David Baker batted the majority of the innings for 78.

In reply Hitchin found the batting conditions tough against some tight bowling, Daljit Virk was the pick of them with 3-13 while Mark Schumann picked up 2-14.

Leo Chan also added a wicket as Hitchin were dismissed for 113.

Hitchin's other five sides had more joy than not.

The firsts won away to Lutonians in Division One.

Winning the toss and electing to bat on what looked like a difficult pitch, they had to scramble at times, Saad Waqas with 33 the highlight along with 22 from James Tilbury, as Hitchin got 159.

Hitchin’s bowling effort was a story of two seamers.

Tilbury took 4-36 and 17-year-old Jamie Timms starred with 5-22 as the home side were 72-8 at one point.

A late tail wag got them as close as eight runs before Timms took the final wicket.


The seconds were the one team to lose, going down by 91 runs to Shenley Village, Tristan Whittle getting 41.

The thirds also lost, beaten way to Old Minchendians after restricting the home side to 133.

In reply Hitchin were always in the hunt but kept losing wickets and eventually ended 10 runs short being all out in the 39 over


The fifths and sixths both won though, beating Ware and Potters Bar.

Stevenage lost by four wickets to Harpenden in Division Two A.

Jason Chapman got 60 and Scott Davies as they got to 143 but despite two wickets each for Lee Cope and Mike Philpotts, Harpenden got home in the 37th over.

Nick Winchester hit 95 and then took 3-17 as Datchworth beat Hemel Hempstead by 107 runs.

Tom Bennett got 4-17 in the Division Three A match.

Baldock lost by eight wickets against Weston in Division Six A, Alistair Jones hitting 41.

Kevin Beard got 4-16 for Weston, Steve Groves managing 3-6 and Paul Snowdon-Lane 2-20, the latter also managing 34.

Matt Heather got 32 and Jake Howard 36 not out.