Baldock face final day showdown First and second teams both need to win on Saturday
BALDOCK Town travel to Knebworth Park on Saturday knowing that their fate lies in their own hands. Town need six points from the game to be assured of Herts League Division Five cricket for another season. If they fail to get a target which is achievable
BALDOCK Town travel to Knebworth Park on Saturday knowing that their fate lies in their own hands.
Town need six points from the game to be assured of Herts League Division Five cricket for another season.
If they fail to get a target which is achievable even with a defeat, and both St Margaretsbury II and Hatch End both win they will be relegated.
Baldock travelled to Millhillians on Saturday to play their penultimate league game of the season with hopes of a win that would leave them safe from relegation.
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They came away with a exciting draw after a good game of cricket, but with only six points.
The game started late and was reduced to 88 overs and upon winning the toss Baldock elected to field.
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Millhillians started quite well albeit in the face of a good opening burst from both Logan Newman and Alistair Jones and it was Jones that struck the first blow as the hosts found themselves at 20-1.
Despite this early loss, Mason and Kalber added 55 further runs and looked to be setting the pace,but the introduction of Tim Dean began to slow things down as he found plenty of turn and bounce form the pitch.
His control was superb and after five luckless overs he struck to get Kalber for 29 and then another shortly after.
As Dean wheeled away the batsmen tried to score the other end and this they did with some success until Newman returned to get Mason for a well made 70.
Thereafter Newman and Dean blew away the tail rapidly and so dismissed Millhillians for 157 off 46 overs.
Newman had his best ever figures of 4-32 and the superb Dean took 4-17 from 16 overs.
The Baldock reply was stuttering and after 15 overs they were 39-4 and in real danger of falling apart as spinner Dare took complete control taking three early wickets.
A brief rally got Baldock going but they kept losing wickets until skipper Rob Cant (26) joined Rob Peacock(42) and these two steadied the ship and got Baldock to a position where they could at least try to attack the total.
When both batsmen were out, the score was 106-7 with 52 needed from eight overs to get the vital win.
Julian Muir (26 not out) batted well throughout the remaining overs and Alistair Jones bashed a rapid 20 as they got ever closer.
The last over came with eight needed and with Muir taking four from the first ball it looked game on but sadly for Baldock the bowler had the last laugh as he restricted the batsmen to just two more runs and the game was drawn with Baldock 153-8 off 42 overs.
On Sunday Baldock played a friendly against the Old White Horse pub at Avenue Park.
The 30-over game was played in good spirit and was a competitive game as OWH had several Stevenage playing for them.
Baldock batted first and got 142-9 with Rob Cant making 50 not out and Graham Letford 25.
In reply OWH were 146-5 off 26.3 overs with I Baker making 62 not out in a polished batting performance.
Alister .Jones took 2-19 from eight overs as Baldock lost by five wickets.
After last week's abysmal performance, Baldock II secured a comfortable victory against St. Albans IV.
Winning the toss and electing to field, Baldock were initially hit with a whirlwind of boundaries from the Saints' opening batsmen.
Added to their aggressive stroke play, a series of dropped catches from the Baldock fielders meant that there were some worried faces amongst the Baldock players.
However, a wicket each for Phil Lucy and Chris Lewis got Baldock back into the game.
Mark Lewis was then able to clear out the Saints lower-middle order and tail to pick up 6-29.
St Albans were finally all out for 122, a total that could have been far lower had Baldock held all their catches.
Baldock's assault on the total never looked in doubt, and a steady opening partnership between Andy Diplock and Richie Waters got Baldock off to a good start.
Duncan Lewis chipped in with 12 runs at the fall of the first wicket, and after Glenn Orsman retired hurt, it was left to Pete Tily and Waters to hit the winning runs.
Waters scored a fine half century, his fifth of the season, to remain unbeaten on 54 as Baldock won by seven wickets.
The other results in Division 10 have meant that four teams are fighting for the remaining three promotion places next weekend.
Fourth placed Baldock play host to third placed Old Cholmoelians on Saturday in a thrilling end-of-season promotion decider.
While their first team were celebrating winning the Herts & Essex League title, Buntingford II ended the season with a disappointing defeat against Division Six champions Nazeing Common.
Batting first, Nazeing were always scoring runs at a good rate and with their opener D Recce scoring 127 before he was run out, they reached a very challenging score of 257-4 from their 45 overs.
Most of the Buntingford bowlers were dealt with harshly by the Nazeing batsman, with the exception of White (7-1-27-2) and Rubul (10-0-32-0) who bowled reasonably well.
In reply, faced with this big target, Buntingford were always struggling. Kev Poulton (30) and Steve Baker (21) were the top two scorers for the home team, with the rest of the batsman struggling to reach double figures.
Buntingford were eventually all out for 142 with 14 overs still remaining.