St Albans Cricket Club saw a three-game winning run come to a halt on Saturday as they went down to a 88-run defeat at the hands of Preston Firsts.

Having won the toss St Albans opted to field for the fourth game in a row, but couldn't replicate their recent form with the ball as they toiled against Preston's in-form batsmen.

Much of the damage was done by the home side's opening pair, most notably through the efforts of Lewis Balcombe who plundered 111 off just 138 deliveries.

He was well backed up by James Stevens who helped himself to 40 before being dismissed by Dan Foster (1-39).

While there was limited joy for the remainder of the Preston order, George Biggs was their next top scorer with 29, they were undoubtedly in command of the game after posting 245-6.

Daniel Ronson was the pick of the St Albans bowlers as he collected 3-55 and there was a wicket apiece for Simon White (1-23) and Max Capaldi (1-56).

The imposing total meant a St Albans win was always unlikely but they did themselves no favours with a limp batting display.

White was the only one of their number who breached double fingers as he top scored with a battling 82.

The remainder of the St Albans team would have done well to follow his lead, but didn't do so as they were bowled out for 157 in the 48th over.

The Preston attack shared the wicket taking duties on a day when seven players bowled.

Pete Murrell was the most productive as he came away with 3-17, while David Fleckney (2-44) was also a threat.

The result leaves St Albans fifth in the Hertfordshire Cricket League Division Two A table after six games this season.

The Saints will look to return to winning ways when they take on Berkhamsted Firsts on Saturday.

The game sees fourth play fifth at Clarence Park.