A FIVE-wicket haul for Sam Wood helped Cumberland secure their first win of the season in the Minor Counties Championship Eastern Division as they defeated Hertfordshire by 74 runs in the three-day match at Furness.

Set 385 to win on the last day, Herts were struggling on 116 for 5 – the innings having mainly been anchored by 50 from skipper Reece Hussain, nephew of former England captain Nasser – before Jamie Southgate and Dominic Chatfield came together to put on a sixth-wicket stand of 104.

Southgate eventually fell for 53, and although number seven batsman Chatfield put on half-century partnership with Alex Axon (55) before being out for 72, the target proved insurmountable for the visitors.

It was seamer Wood who did the damage for Cumberland, returning figures of 5 for 70 from 25 overs in Herts' second innings, with Toby Bulcock picking up two wickets as well as the away side were bowled out for 310.

Cumberland had set the tone for the match early on after being invited to bat first, totalling 376 all out on the back of a fourth-wicket partnership of 186 between Marcus Stables, who top-scored with 117, and Furness batsman Sam Dutton, who made 87 on his home ground.

Skipper Gary Pratt contributed 67 for the hosts as well, while the one Herts bowler to make the most of having the ball first was Ben Waring, who took 7 for 144.

In reply, Bulcock and Adam Syddall were the chief tormentors of the Herts batting line-up, returning figures of 5 for 73 and 4 for 64 respectively as the visitors were dismissed for 176. Joe Cooke was the best batsman for Herts with 79.

Cumberland endured a rocky second innings though, with opener Ross Zelem making their only notable score of 76 as Waring and Southgate got stuck into the home side with four wickets apiece. However, the target set after declaring on 184 for 8 proved more than enough.

The result moves Cumberland up to sixth in the Eastern Division and their next match is away to Bedfordshire at Flitwick, starting a week on Sunday.

Before then, Dutton returns to action with his Furness team-mates tomorrow when they travel to Workington in the North Lancashire and Cumbria League Premier Division, no doubt hoping overseas star Rishi Dhawan can continue his impressive all-round form of recent weeks.

Haverigg and Lindal Moor both face daunting challenges as they host second-placed Cockermouth and are away to leaders Cleator respectively, while Dalton are on the road at mid-table Keswick and Millom play host to Carlisle.

Kirkby remain very much in the Division One title mix following last Saturday's win over Workington's second string and a win at home to Ulverston tomorrow would help keep the pressure up on top side Egremont.

Hawcoat Park, currently sitting fourth in the standings, could do Kirkby a favour as well if they defeat the league leaders, although they still harbour title and promotion ambitions of their own too.

Elsewhere, Barrow seconds are at home to Vickerstown and Furness seconds host Workington seconds.

In the Northern Premier League, Barrow will be aiming to build on their two successes from last weekend when they play another Saturday-Sunday double-header – starting with tomorrow's trip to Fulwood and Broughton in Division One.

That is followed by another cup clash at Ernest Pass on Sunday, when Furness make the short trip to face Barrow in the County Cup semi-finals.