Saracens Hertfordshire Cricket League: Northwood 119 for 5 beat Cockfosters 117 by five wickets
Northwood faced Cockfosters at home who still had a mathematical chance of going up if they won and results went their way.
Cockfosters elected to bat and were soon one down to a diving catch from Steve Hussey behind the stumps off James Lewis.
They seemed to want to get as big a score as possible as soon as they could as their number two hit the ball to all parts, only to fall caught by a steepler off James Lewis by Alex Mason, having scored 47 out of 49.
Cockfosters kept playing their shots and one by one they fell to good catches in the field. Lewis was assisted by Stuart Reeve who bowled his best this season taking 2 for 22 in eight tight overs but it was Lewis with 6 for 64 in 13 overs who bowled Northwood to a good position as Cockfosters were dismissed for 117 in 39 overs.
Northwood lost Ross Noach fairly early in the innings and Nigel Hussey and Tom Brockton took the score up to 45 for two when Nigel Hussey was snared by Cockfoster's young spinner.
He proceeded to take three more wickets before the old head of Steve Hussey joined Blockton at the crease at 65 for 5. Brockton anchored the innings together with Hussey, scoring 54 not out and Hussey scoring 19 not out.
The seconds were away at Cockfosters with an outside possibility of promotion.
Cockfosters seconds adopted the same ethos as their firsts as they went all guns blazing and after 25 overs they were on 150 for 3.
However, the later bowlers dragged things back with Iyyaz Shariff taking four for 86 in 18 overs. Cockfosters declared after 47 overs on 249 for eight.
Northwood were soon in trouble with Watson, Latchman,Powell and Williams back in the pavilion.
This brought affable chairman Steve Lewis together with Marcel Bruns. The pair put on 87 for the fourth wicket before Bruns departed on 44.
Lewis was on 22 at the time and has had a poor run in the last couple of seasons not scoring a league 50 and it was especially pleasing for the club to see him put this record to bed with 93.
He was assisted by Farant (27) and Ghassan Ali (16). However, as Lewis got out just shy of a century the lower order were unable to see Northwood home as they finished on 235 for eight.
Northwood threes played Letchworth fourths at Durrants and Robert Fells again led off with 77 runs putting on 61 for the first wicket with veteran Richard Mackey.
Robert Reeve came in at five to score 31 and move the score up to 130 for 5 but the lower order failed to assist and Northwood finished on 162 with D Smith taking five for 27, playing down in the fourths with his son.
Northwood soon had Letchworth in trouble and at 54 for four victory looked on the cards.
Young Ian Keys took three for 32 in 14 accurate overs. However, this brought D Smith to the crease who hit 78 to see Letchworth home for the loss of only one more wicket.
Northwood Town 80 for 7 beat Hatfield 79 by three wickets
NORTHWOOD TOWN won their seventh league game of the season and could well have condemned Hatfield to Division Three, but they made hard work in chasing a modest total after the bowlers had produced another excellent display.
In a surprise move Raj Ahluwalia opted to open the bowling himself with Dave Bushnell.
Both picked up early wickets as the hosts struggled to 31 for two and then 38 for four with Ahluwalia justifying his move with excllent figures of two for 14 off 11 overs.
The skipper immeidately withdrew himself for usual opener Johanes Van EE and replaced Bushnell with spinner Ben Rawson-Jones. The tactics reaped immediate rewards as wickets continued to tumble with Hatfield struggling to make an impression on the scoreboard.
Tight bowling and disciplined fielding ensured Town squeezed the life out of the Hatfield innings and they were finally dismissed for 79 off 36.4 overs. Rawson-Jones returned four for 17 whilst Van EE took three for 13.
In reply Ahluwalia continued to experiment but was aware that the deteriorating pitch would mean he could not gamble too much.
With the first two wickets going down wityh just two runs on the board the tactics were certainly backfiring but Rohan Lee and Phil Costard restored some parity before both were dismissed to leave Town at 31 for four.
Van EE decided his usual aggressive style was the only way to counter the demons in the pitch and his innings of 30 was to prove crucial in the run in.
Ahluwalia played a supporting role throughout in a partnership of 32 but when Van EE was dismissed the game was truly in the balance at 63 for five. This was soon 68 for six before Town finally crept home for the loss of just one more wicket, the skipper remaining unbeaten on 13.
Town's 2nds once again produced a dreadful bowling performance as Hatfield won by four wickets with nine balls remaining.
Batting first, Sid Siddarth continued his recent excellent form as he scored a well earned 50. However, Town looked in trouble at 70 for four before an excel-lent partnership of 80 between Scott Walker and Alan Armitage (30) brought the hosts back into a dominating position. Walker enjoyed the freedom of a lengthy bat and carved out an excellent 81 before being run out at the death. Town finished their innings on 199 for eight.
In reply Hatfield dominated from the start as Town's bowlers simply could not deliver and the visitors strolled home.