Potters Bar closing in on Premier Division play-off place after Letchworth stroll

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 July 2018 | UPDATED: 08:20 24 July 2018

Potters Bar's Luke Chapman prepares to bowl in the match between Letchworth and Potters Bar. Picture: DANNY LOO

Potters Bar's Luke Chapman prepares to bowl in the match between Letchworth and Potters Bar. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Potters Bar strengthened their hold on a Saracens Hertfordshire Cricket League Premier Division play-off place thanks to a seven-wicket win over Letchworth Garden City.

Potters Bar celebrate Letchworth Garden City's Harry Aitkenhead's wicket in the match between Letchworth and Potters Bar. Picture: DANNY LOOPotters Bar celebrate Letchworth Garden City's Harry Aitkenhead's wicket in the match between Letchworth and Potters Bar. Picture: DANNY LOO

The Walk-based Cricket Club won at a canter against the division’s basement side and now hold a 25-point lead over fifth-placed Radlett, the side who visit on Saturday.

Potters Bar celebrate Letchworth Garden City's Harry Aitkenhead's wicket in the match between Letchworth and Potters Bar. Picture: DANNY LOOPotters Bar celebrate Letchworth Garden City's Harry Aitkenhead's wicket in the match between Letchworth and Potters Bar. Picture: DANNY LOO

This victory came in two parts and starred Luke Chapman and Steve Gale.

Potters Bar in the field in the match between Letchworth and Potters Bar. Picture: DANNY LOOPotters Bar in the field in the match between Letchworth and Potters Bar. Picture: DANNY LOO

Part one saw Chapman take 5-48 in a fantastic 20 overs as Letchworth were bowled out for 199.

Potters Bar's James Scott prepares to bowl in the match between Letchworth and Potters Bar. Picture: DANNY LOOPotters Bar's James Scott prepares to bowl in the match between Letchworth and Potters Bar. Picture: DANNY LOO

Gale then strode out to the middle and hit an unbeaten 109, which included 16 fours, as Bar coasted home with 13 overs to spare.

Potters Bar's Thilan Walallawita bowls in the match between Letchworth and Potters Bar. Picture: DANNY LOOPotters Bar's Thilan Walallawita bowls in the match between Letchworth and Potters Bar. Picture: DANNY LOO

Bar won the toss and opted to bowl first on the now normal dust-dry pitch.

Letchworth Garden City's Harry Aitkenhead survives an LBW shout in the match between Letchworth and Potters Bar. Picture: DANNY LOOLetchworth Garden City's Harry Aitkenhead survives an LBW shout in the match between Letchworth and Potters Bar. Picture: DANNY LOO

It was the hosts though who enjoyed the better start as openers Will Aitkenhead and Tom Simmons progressed steadily.

Potters Bar's Thilan Walallawita bowls in the match between Letchworth and Potters Bar. Picture: DANNY LOOPotters Bar's Thilan Walallawita bowls in the match between Letchworth and Potters Bar. Picture: DANNY LOO

The latter looked the more fluent but with the score on 63, he was bowled by Chapman.

Potters Bar celebrate a wicket in the match between Letchworth and Potters Bar. Picture: DANNY LOOPotters Bar celebrate a wicket in the match between Letchworth and Potters Bar. Picture: DANNY LOO

That brought Maxford Pipe to the crease and although he only faced 29 balls, he managed a quick-fire 32 and took the Letchworth score on to 103.

His wicket was the catalyst for two more to go, James Scott getting the pair and the skipper got his third wicket straight after lunch to finish on 3-34.

Chapman then got back in on the action and although Jonny Harris and Joe Randall stood defiant for a spell, it was only short-lived resistance.

The final wicket to fall was Dominic Simmons who was stumped by Harrison Palmer off the bowling of Thilan Walallawita, a scalp that saw him jump above Dan Pascoe to become Potters Bar’s third leading wicket-taker in ECB League cricket.

Palmer was the first to go in reply, slashing one to second slip, but Gale and Charlie Scott took over and all but carried Bar to the win by themselves.

They were three runs short of a club record partnership for the second wicket before Scott chipped to extra cover for 64, ending the stand on a combined 157.

Three Kamran Younas boundaries took Bar to within three of the win but he was bowled by Tim Graham for 17.

That left Pat Scott to blast the winning runs through mid-wicket.

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