Harpenden keep their relegation scrap alive
- Credit: Archant
Harpenden Cricket Club have avoided automatic relegation from the Saracens Herts Cricket League Premier Division and kept their fight against a relegation play-off going with a fine 124-run victory at Letchworth Garden City.
They are now 18 points behind Bishop’s Stortford and safety with the potential decider coming at Cricketfield Lane on the final day of the season.
But the win, which also doomed the north Hertfordshire side, was Harpenden back to their best.
They won the toss and on a cloudy but still humid day they opted to bat.
It didn’t start brilliantly as they lost Gregg Cooper with just 20 runs on the board and fellow opener Ben Frazer just 15 runs later.
But that just led the way to two outstanding stands.
First Ben Clements and James Latham put on 84 for the third wicket before the latter was bowled by Harry Aitkenhead and caught by Praveen Bhatti for 34.
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But then Clements was joined by Nick Lamb who added 41 from 47 balls in a partnership of 100.
There was to be one more wicket before the close, that of Scott Galloway, but still there at the end was Clements with a majestic 111 not out, forged from 124 balls and containing 10 fours and a six.
It left Harpenden on a very good 247-5 from their 50 overs and they had the home response in tatters from the word go.
The first six wickets went for just 33 runs with Frazer the scourge of Letchworth this time.
He saw off William Aitkenhead, Nathan Spritles, Tim Graham, George Denman and Jonny Harris in a fiery opening spell that would see him finish with figures of 5-18.
Harry Aitkenhead (36) and Darren Lewis (32) tried to restore some respectability but once they were both dismissed by William Latham (2-39) the game was up for Letchworth.
They would eventually be all out for 123 in 37 overs with Gus Laws-Mather (2-11) taking the final two wickets.
Arthur Garrett got the other scalp.
Harpenden’s final home game of the season sees Radlett come to town with the near neighbours not out of the relegation woods themselves just yet.
Bishop’s Stortford meanwhile have the difficult task of a trip to league leaders Totteridge Millhillians.
Both games start at 12pm.