Harpenden slipped to a three-wicket defeat against Welwyn Garden City in the Saracens Hertfordshire League Premier Division on Saturday as they struggled to deal with the bowling of Simon Bridgewater.

Harpenden scored 198-9 after their opponents elected to field first, with Bridgewater taking three wickets for 54 runs, while team-mates Owais Shah, Matthew Grant and Connor Emerton all took two apiece for 18, 46 and 50 runs respectively.

Fifth to bat, Aaron Burrage top-scored for Harpenden, hitting five fours and a six on his way to making 43, while captain Nick Lamb hit six fours on his way to reaching a score of 42.

Harpenden were then unable to match that impact with their bowling as Welwyn passed the total with a score of 200-7 from 53.1 overs.

Arthur Garrett was most dangerous for Harpenden, taking four wickets for 72 runs, but Welwyn’s batsmen consistently picked up runs at a steady rate to chase down the target.

Daniel Blacktopp top-scored with 51, hitting seven fours, while Louis Champion struck three fours and a six on his way to adding 18 runs from 13 deliveries before he was caught by Andrew Neal.

In Division One, Harpenden’s second XI found life even more difficult against Old Albanians as they were comfortably beaten by eight wickets.

Harpenden elected to bat first having won the toss, but found themselves all out for just 150 after they faced some ruthless bowling from Old Albanians and in particular from Usman Farooq who took two wickets for just six runs from 2.3 overs.

Other notable contributions were made by Tanveer Ahmed who took two wickets for 21 runs and Naseer Ahmed who took two more for 29.

Harpenden might have felt optimistic after skipper and wicketkeeper Tom Stewart caught opening batsman Ibrar Walayat for a golden duck before catching his opening partner Farooq after he had made just eight runs.

However, they would be the only wickets they would take, as third and fourth to bat Mohammed Haroon and Robert Goldstone impresed and hit scores of 60 and 61 not out to reach 200-2 from just 26.5 overs.