Streak to remember in Baldock revival

BALDOCK managed to break their losing streak with a draw against high-flying Hertingfordbury. The hosts won the toss at Avenue Park on Saturday and elected to field. They were rewarded early as Alistair Jones broke through with the new ball. Hertingfordbu

BALDOCK managed to break their losing streak with a draw against high-flying Hertingfordbury.

The hosts won the toss at Avenue Park on Saturday and elected to field.

They were rewarded early as Alistair Jones broke through with the new ball.

Hertingfordbury, though, then applied themselves and added useful runs and looked certain for a big total on the now sun-baked pitch.

However, Tim Dean snapped up the dangerous Palmer for 26 and Jones got the other opener to leave the innings in the balance.

Baldock's bowlers then kept tight lines to keep the scoring rate manageable and, despite an accomplished 52 from Harley, Hertingfordbury were never allowed to get away.

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This had much to do with the excellent work by the outfielders, who got two direct run outs to back up their toiling bowlers.

The visitors managed to post a competitive 174 all out from 52.2 overs with Dean taking 3-63 from 18.2 overs and Alistair Jones taking 5-80 from a marathon stint of 26 overs unchanged.

Baldock's reply got off to a familiar start with the loss of Adam Taylor for a duck, but the Peacock brothers, James and Robert, set about the repair job with skill and good judgment, adding 55 before run machine James was dismissed for a fluent 41 trying to reverse-sweep spinner Rider.

This led to the all-too-familiar middle order collapse which left the hosts in real trouble at 80-5 as Rider took control for Hertingfordbury.

Unlike other weeks, Baldock battled back and Robert Peacock with a fine half-century (53) and Ranjit Rayat again repaired the damage to give the hosts a chance of victory.

However, with the loss of Peacock, the run rate climbing and Rider bowling with tight control, it looked a hard task and so it proved as Baldock, with 15 needed off the last over, could only muster five.

Rayat ended on 42 not out and A Jones on 16 not out as Baldock reached 164-7 off 47 overs.

Baldock were left feeling happier with their performance but still in need of that elusive victory.

Baldock's Sunday side did manage a second victory of their 2006 campaign by beating Great Gaddesden by seven wickets.

GG batted first and despite an early loss through injury looked well placed for a 200-plus score.

The batsmen looked comfortable at 90-1 until Graham Letford with his mesmeric leg spin claimed two vital wickets in a good spell.

Gaddesden battled back but from 140-4 were dismissed for 160 as Alistair Jones (4-10) and Logan Newman (1-25) ripped through the tail to give Baldock a good chance of victory.

The reply was excellent for once as Robert Peacock (48) and Paul Gentle (28) added 75 for the first wicket.

A slight wobble saw Baldock at 90-3 but Ranjit Rayat with an excellent 46 not out and skipper Rob Cant with a rock solid 22 not out saw them home to win by seven wickets with five overs to spare.

Baldock II returned to winning ways on Saturday with a convincing performance at Abbots Langley III.

Winning the toss, skipper Phil Lucy decided to go against tradition and bat first on a suspicious-looking track.

After losing Pete Tily in the first over, this decision looked potentially disastrous.

However, Richie Waters and Lucy rebuilt the Baldock innings with an excellent partnership.

Waters was eventually out for 21 and Lucy for 36. Duncan Lewis then rescued the innings with an excellent partnership with Mark Lewis the latter was dismissed for 40.

Duncan Lewis scored an excellent 46 before he was caught going for a boundary to bring up his 50.

Baldock then lost quick wickets until Kal Rayat (19 not out) and Andy Diplock (10 not out) took Baldock past 200.

Phil Lucy declared the Baldock innings on 201-7, with Oza taking 6-61 for Langley.

The hosts batted positively from the start, and despite losing three early wickets - two for 19 runs to the leg-spin of John Bracken, and one to Chris Lewis - they never looked to play for the draw.

Opener Salmons scored a superb 64 in a handy stand with Lovett. However, the Baldock bowlers were always on top and 3-26 runs from Tily helped ensure Baldock maintained the pressure.

Mark Lewis came on and dismissed Salmon, before mopping up the tail with 4-19.

Diplock had another excellent day behind the stumps taking two catches and two stumpings as Baldock romped home, dismissing Abbots Langley for 147 off 39 overs to win by 54 runs.

Great Chishill saw their unbeaten run come to an end against Ashwell, on Saturday, in Division 2SA in a thrilling match that went to the last possible ball.

Kirk Chilton had continued his fine form as he made 101. With the only real support coming from Paul Drury, though, Chishill finished on 200-9 on the tight Ashwell ground.

The home side looked to be coasting to victory before skipper Angus Gent switched to a spell of seam bowling, and in partnership with Ollie Stoop caused the match to go down to the last over.

A dropped catch cost Chishill dear as Ashwell won off the last delivery with just one wicket remaining.

Great Chishill II got the "Wright" result in their Division 4SB match, with a resounding 10-wicket win over Hardwick/Shepreth III.

The hosts out in the opposition and the decision was vindicated as all Chishill's bowlers got among the wickets.

Twelve-year-old Adam Wright led the attack, taking 2-9 to just better the figures of his opening partner, the vastly experienced Terry Manning, who finished with 2-10.

Hardwick were dismissed for just 71, with Mark Wright's varied off-spin claiming another two victims.

Chishill's opening batsmen Gary Wright and Simon Coxall took just over 17 overs to secure maximum points and retain top spot in the league.