Youth shines as Hatfield & Crusaders edge to narrow opening day win at Preston

PUBLISHED: 17:01 07 May 2018 | UPDATED: 17:03 07 May 2018

The Hatfield & Crusaders first team who opened their season with victory at Preston 2nds.

The Hatfield & Crusaders first team who opened their season with victory at Preston 2nds.

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Hatfield & Crusaders Cricket Club made a winning start to their Saracens Hertfordshire Cricket League Division Five A campaign - claiming a narrow win away to Preston 2nds.

The two-wicket victory was set-up in part by fine performances from young all-rounders, Ben Clark and Sam Edge, heralding a great deal of promise for the season to come.

After H&C won the toss and elected to field under the auspices of new captain Gareth Wynne, Edge made a flying start, dismissing each of Preston’s top four within the first 12 overs on his way to 4-38.

All this was before the score had reached 30 and combined with economical spells from Sean Edge, Deepak Hasiza and Clark, Preston struggled to rebuild.

They reached 71-8 after 30 overs and only dogged resistance of Catlin (44*) and Mercer (29) prevented Hatfield & Crusaders getting them out sooner.

They eventually reached 133, with Amit Singh (2-25) and Gareth Wynne (2-11) claiming the final wickets.

The run chase was not straightforward though as Hatfield & Crusaders slipped to 25-4 in the 11th over.

Lewis Wynne (18) and Hasiza (29) restored some stability, before another flurry of wickets saw the team on 82-7, still 52 runs short of their target required.

But with the pressure on and the result in the balance, it was time for the youngsters to step up to the plate.

And impressively mature innings from both Clark (35) and Sam Edge (15*) saw the team home with two wickets remaining.

After finishing fourth last season, and missing out on promotion, this was the perfect start and they will be looking to carry that on in their first home game of the year against Ickleford 2nds on Saturday.

However, while the firsts were winning, there was no such luck for the seconds or fourths as they both lost.

The 2nds slumped to a 46-run defeat at home to Abbots Langley 2nds.

A disciplined bowling performance saw the visitors dismissed for 130, with Ian Golder claiming 4-17 from his 10 overs and Tony Jakes chipping in with 3-16.

But a defiant 29* was the best they could offer in reply.

The 4ths lost by six wickets to Potten End 2nds.

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