Harpenden hoping to secure hat-trick of promotions, but firsts suffer play-off setback

Ben Clemence batting for Harpenden (pic Karyn Haddon)

Ben Clemence batting for Harpenden (pic Karyn Haddon) - Credit: Archant

Harpenden could see three of their teams promoted this weekend, but the firsts face a must-win meeting with Potters Bar in their bid for a Herts League Premier play-off place.

Their fine run of form was put on hold on the Common, as fellow hopefuls North Mymms took full advantage of a below-par batting display to claim victory and jump over Harpenden into third place.

The home side were soon up against it as Greg Cooper fell to the first ball of the match and Nick Lamb followed in the same over.

But Ben Frazer and Ben Clements set about rebuilding the innings with classy performances to give Harpenden fresh hope.

Frazer struck a swift 73 from 74 balls, including a six and 11 fours, as overseas Clements eased to a half-century of his own from 70 deliveries, with six boundaries.

But once their 125-run stand had been ended, wickets continued to fall at regular intervals as Harpenden stuttered to 169-8.

An unbroken 52-run stand for the ninth wicket between Caleb Stewart (30 not out) and George Garrett (21 not out) lifted the total to 221-8 at the end of 50 overs to give Harpenden some hope, but still felt below par during the tea interval.

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And North Mymms batted sensibly after the restart, never really looking like they were not going to reach the target set.

Harpenden didn’t do much wrong with the ball, yet rewards were hard to come by and a few missed opportunities allowed Hamza Ahmed (69) and Steve Snell (51 not out) to reach half centuries as they secured a six-wicket win with nine balls left to push Harpenden out of the top four with two games remaining.

There was better news for Harpenden seconds as they left Broxbourne stunned by bowling them out for 90 and making light work of the chase.

Harpenden now top Division One and have their sights on sealing a fourth promotion in four years.

The thirds took a huge step towards promotion after beating Ampthill Town convincingly and another win this weekend will see them crowned champions of Division Four B.

And although the fifths lost against Hoddesdon thirds in Division 10 B, they can add to their promotion and push for the title if they beat Hertingfordbury. this weekend, which promises to be a huge one for the club.