Knebworth Park claimed their third league victory from their opening five matches with a tight victory over visitors Chorleywood.
The winning margin was just seven runs, as the Chorleywood tail battled to take their side close to an unlikely victory.
However, the Park held their nerve to seal the win and move up to third in the Saracens Herts Cricket League Championship.
Having been put in to bat on a damp wicket, the Knebworth batsmen struggled for timing and fluency early on, as the ball was not coming on with any pace.
The in-form batsman, Richard Leather, went early on without troubling the scorers and the Park had struggled to just 15 runs from 13 overs when Phil Simpson fell after failing to clear mid-off.
However, the Park rebuilt and when the Chorleywood opening bowlers finished their spells, there were more loose deliveries for Parth Patel and Josh Roseberry to score from.
Patel, in particular, was able to punish the over-pitched deliveries, before he was stumped for 36 just before drinks.
At the half way stage the Park had reached 65-3, but, with the wicket drying, they would hope to continue to pick up the scoring rate in the next stage of the innings.
Roseberry fell shortly after drinks, leaving Adam Sergeant and Charlie Randall to put the Chorleywood medium-pacers under pressure.
Sergeant looked more comfortable on the tough wicket than any of the other Park players and he was well supported by Randall, who accumulated singles and rotated the strike well.
The shot of the day came when Sergeant struck the ball cleanly over the bowler’s head and sent it thudding into the sight screen.
Randall fell for 18 and both Robinson and James Leather followed shortly after brief cameos.
However, Sergeant reached his 50 with another boundary and struck two more before falling for 62.
The last wicket fell in the final over with Park having made 187, a competitive score on a wicket which was not easy to bat on.
Knebworth opened their attack with spinner Parth Patel and the experienced Shaun Robinson, hoping to tie up the Chorleywood openers and create some scoreboard pressure.
After a few loose overs, the positive intent showed by the Chorleywood opener Aspinall proved to be his downfall as he picked out Randall off the bowling of Patel.
Patel then found his rhythm and the edge of the other opener, with Robinson taking a simple catch at first slip.
Robinson himself then got in on the act. The Chorleywood No.4 pushed too hard at the ball and only succeeded in lobbing it to Luke Chapman at cover. Both bowlers each claimed one more wicket each to leave the visitors 67-5 after 20 overs.
James Leather, pictured above, was introduced into the attack and his extra pace proved to be too much for Chorleywood’s lower order.
He clean bowled keeper Dare in his first over and followed it up in the next by trapping Bushnell LBW for 0.
At the other end, No.3 Lye, had reached 39 and was looking well set. However, Leather, who finished with 3-31, produced one of the balls of the day to take the top his off-stump, leaving the visitors struggling on 99-8.
At this point Knebworth should have been ruthless and wrapped up the victory, but the young Park side’s lack of experience showed as they failed to press home their advantage.
Some sloppy bowling allowed the Chorleywood Nos. 9 and 10 to form a partnership and leave Knebworth beginning to doubt the victory.
With just 40 runs required and the batting Powerplay fielding restrictions to take effect, Park skipper Charlie Randall took a gamble and threw young leg-spinner Jason Timm into the attack.
Timm held his nerve and grabbed the wicket of Rice, who went for glory but only skied the ball to mid-on, where James Leather was waiting to take the catch.
However, No.10 Ryan was not deterred and was determined to seize an unlikely victory. After striking two clean straight sixes from the bowling of Timm, the required score had fallen to just 15.
Richard Leather was introduced into the attack as the Park began to fear the worst. After an uneventful couple of overs, where Chorleywood chipped away at the target and left themselves with just nine runs to win, Leather struck with the first ball of his second over to make himself the hero and seal a tense victory.
This result sees a relieved Knebworth move up to third in the table as the league switches format next week. They will be pleased with their strength in depth will both ball and bat, with each member of the team making contributions so far this season.
However, the Park will have to be more ruthless over the season if they are to challenge at the top of the league.
For Mike Jones’ superb gallery of pictures from the game click here