Bentley Heath's 2nd XI slipped to mid-table in the Hertfordshire Premier Cricket League Division Ten A following a three-wicket loss at home to Hoddesdon IV.

The visitors won the toss and decided to put Bentley Heath into bat, hoping they could pin back the hosts for less than the 310 they achieved last week at Reed.

The visitors got off to the perfect start breaking the opening partnership of Craig Collis (3) and Lahiru Weerasinghe (15) inside the first five overs, Collis softly hooking a short ball to square leg, leaving them 15-1.

Another small partnership of 16 between Weerasinghe and Lee Riley (7) before a flurry of wickets got the Heath off to a poor start. Riley was first to go out as he was caught at second slip, Weerasinghe was next out LBW and Martin Dunnett (0) was caught cheaply at mid-on for a duck.

In the space of two overs Bentley Heath went from 31-1 to 31-4. There was a slight improvement in the batting when Matt Bird (9) and captain Dave Tagg (23) joined forces, but just as the pair began to find a bit of comfort Bird was caught behind by the Hoddesdon keeper ending a partnership of 31.

Tagg only last a few overs more before he too was caught behind by the visiting keeper, Bentley Heath now 75-6 after 26 overs.

The second half of the first innings steadied out a little as Momin Siddiqui (5) and Chetan Bakrania (22) stood their ground and made it difficult for Hoddesdon to take their wickets. The pair were able to cross the 100 mark before Siddiqui was out LBW for five.

Bakrania continued to push the score forward a bit before pushing too much and being caught at mid-off. The tail-end did their bit with Rob Dunnett coming in at 10 scoring eight, but his wicket was the last to go, 30 runs short of what captain Tagg was calling a par score - 119 all out.

It was clear the hosts were going to have to bowl and field well to get anything out of the game and that was exactly how they started.

A steady flow of early wickets initially put Bentley Heath in the driving seat. Riley (19-2) bowled opener Gorton, playing all round a straight one, shortly followed by the new batsmen thinly edging one to keeper Collis.

The early wickets continued to fall with Weerasinghe (24-1) getting a deserved wicket four overs later following some tight bowling.

The 15th over put the hosts in prime position as two wickets for Bird (21-3) set Hoddesdon back to 32-5 and a plumb LBW was followed by a second catch for Collis.

It was the sixth partnership that won the game though for the visitors, coming in just when they needed.

64 runs between J Harrison and A Lee frustrated the Heath and the frequent change of bowling eventually brought the break-through, though it was gifted to them by some poor and unnecessary running between the wickets as Lee was run out for 43, the visitors 100-6.

One more wicket was to fall during Hoddesdon’s innings, gaining the remaining 12 runs.

Bird removed Harrison LBW for 28 and, with his team already home and dry, they secured the winning runs with four overs to spare.