Welwyn get back to winning ways as they take the spoils in the Garden City derby

PUBLISHED: 15:21 06 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:40 06 August 2018

Welwyn Garden City's Louis Champion batting in the match between Letchworth and WGC. Picture: DANNY LOO

Welwyn Garden City's Louis Champion batting in the match between Letchworth and WGC. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Welwyn Garden City got back to winning ways and kept themselves in the hunt for a play-off place thanks to an 86-run victory over Letchworth – although it was anything but plain sailing against the SHCL Premier Division basement club.

Welwyn Garden City's Dan Blacktopp and Hemang Ramlaul meet in the middle in the match between Letchworth and WGC. Picture: DANNY LOOWelwyn Garden City's Dan Blacktopp and Hemang Ramlaul meet in the middle in the match between Letchworth and WGC. Picture: DANNY LOO

The visitors to Whitethorn Lane were asked to bat first on a dry pitch and although the top five batsmen made a decent start, they all managed to get themselves out, falling from 105-2 to 113-6.

Welwyn Garden City's Dan Blacktopp grounds his bat and avoids being run out in the match between Letchworth and WGC. Picture: DANNY LOOWelwyn Garden City's Dan Blacktopp grounds his bat and avoids being run out in the match between Letchworth and WGC. Picture: DANNY LOO

Owais Shah’s 37 and Dan Blacktopp with 39 were the top scores at that point for Welwyn but their strength in depth then shone through.

Welwyn Garden City's Hemang Ramlaul batting in the match between Letchworth and WGC. Picture: DANNY LOOWelwyn Garden City's Hemang Ramlaul batting in the match between Letchworth and WGC. Picture: DANNY LOO

Skipper Andy Nolan came in at seven and left with an unbeaten 61 while Matthew Grant’s 38 from his position at nine on the batting order was another to rescue the innings.

Welwyn Garden City's Louis Champion gets out after hitting a Praveen Bhatti delivery to a fielder in the match between Letchworth and WGC. Picture: DANNY LOOWelwyn Garden City's Louis Champion gets out after hitting a Praveen Bhatti delivery to a fielder in the match between Letchworth and WGC. Picture: DANNY LOO

They finished on 230-8 with Maxford Pipe the pick of the Letchworth bowlers on 4-45.

Welwyn Garden City's Louis Champion walks off in the match between Letchworth and WGC. Picture: DANNY LOOWelwyn Garden City's Louis Champion walks off in the match between Letchworth and WGC. Picture: DANNY LOO

Chasing over 200 on a dry pitch was always going to be tough and despite a good opening salvo from skipper Tom Simmons (43) Letchworth found as tough as expected.

Welwyn Garden City's Hemang Ramlaul in the match between Letchworth and WGC. Picture: DANNY LOOWelwyn Garden City's Hemang Ramlaul in the match between Letchworth and WGC. Picture: DANNY LOO

And once Welwyn introduced spin into the equation through James Southgate (3-49) and batting hero Grant, whose 12.1 overs yielded him figures of 6-50, there was only going to be one winner.

Welwyn Garden City's Dan Blacktopp in the match between Letchworth and WGC. Picture: DANNY LOOWelwyn Garden City's Dan Blacktopp in the match between Letchworth and WGC. Picture: DANNY LOO

Limited over pink ball cricket returns next week with Welwyn hoping to keep up this sort of form at home to Radlett.

The second team were also playing Letchworth but they didn’t have as much luck.

Defending less than 250 in 50 overs on the flat Digswell Park track is a tricky ask and it isn’t made any easier when the opposition have a batsmen of the calibre of David Alban.

Batting first WGC got to a below par 228-9, David O’Sullivan top scoring on 42.

And that’s where Alban stepped in, hitting 96 not out from 88 balls to seal victory with more than five overs left.

It was also WGC’s second defeat on the bounce and while they remain second, they have four games to secure promotion.

The thirds won comfortably at home to Eversholt, Jimmy Sumpter taking 5-14 as the visitors were bowled out for just 87 as they chased 214-7.

The fourths found Old Albanian 3rds in sensational form, compiling a highly competitive 281-3, a total they were never likely to reach.

But the fifths got sweet revenge against Hatfield Hyde 3rds after a six-wicket loss earlier in the year.

This time it was they who won by eight wickets, Adam Pendell starring with three wickets and 36 not out.

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