Old Dartfordians 152 all out
The Belhus victory over visitors Old Dartfordians on Bank Holiday Monday was mainly due to a good performance with the ball. Leg spinners Ryan Wells (3 for 36) and Owen Jefferies (4 for 39) were instrumental in keeping the visitors score down to 152. In pursuit, Belhus suffered a couple of mini collapses going from 41 for 0 to 57 for 3 and 73 for 3 to 73 for 5. However, a partnership of 55 for the sixth wicket between Connor Elliott, 42 not out, and George Brooks, 33, broke the back of the run chase. Earlier in the innings, Bradley Walker had smote 32, but Bygrave (4 for 18) and Pooley (3 for 39) almost turned the game for the Kent side but Belhus held their nerve to gain a three-wicket victory.
Essex Over 60s 178-8
Belhus were delighted to host the County over-60’s representative side on the Tuesday of their cricket week. Batting first, Essex were restricted to 178 for 8 by a tight fielding performance and some good bowling, Cliff Cansdale was the pick with 3 for 11 from nine overs, Brian Edwards also bowled well taking 2 for 49. In response, Belhus lost first team skipper Steve Huckstepp to the sixth ball of the innings, caught sharply in the gully for nought. Skipper for the day Peter Clark struck 36 and Jim Banner scored 33 as these two repaired the damage with a partnership of 58 for the second wicket, but the killer pairing that settled the game saw Michael Cansdale undefeated on 72 and Ryan Wells, 32, plunder 97 for the fourth wicket to seal the game by six wickets. Broadcast journalist Ralph Dellor was the pick of the Essex bowlers with eight overs of top seam and swing bowling to pick up 2 for 21.
Hornchurch Athletic 182-8
Hornchurch Athletic squeezed home in this very tight game by two wickets. Belhus, batting first, looked to have a good if unspectacular base when Tom Thompson 56 and Mike Randall, 40, put on 91 for the first wicket. However, the innings floundered somewhat and rested at 178 for 8, by co-incidence exactly the same score which Essex set the previous day. Phillips grabbed 3 for 28 for the visitors. At the halfway stage of the Hornchurch response, things looked rosy for the visitors as they hit the 20-over mark at 80 for 2, needing just over 4.5 an over with eight wickets in hand. Gooch made 43 and Humphries 47. Enter Barry Ruck for a little bit of showtime, his 4 for 29 left the “A’s” wobbling but then Weekes and Phillips became the two undefeated batsmen on 11 and 23 respectively.
There are not many teams who can say they have beaten a county and a major club from an ICC affiliate Country in the same week, but Belhus can proudly boast this achievement. A fine five wicket victory over Czech tourists Prague CC was pulled off by some good othordox left arm spin from Brian Edwards (4 for 48) and two half-centuries. One a maiden Belhus achievement from Luke Clements in scoring 52 and the other an undefeated 56 from Billy Winter as Belhus coasted home with 195 for 5 with 23 balls to spare. Clements and Fogg (22) put on 78 for the first wicket, while Winter and Heffernan (31) put on 70 for the fifth wicket. In a post-match drama, Belhus found themselves without electricity whilst entertaining their Czech guests, but the evening and the remainder of the cricket week was saved due to the supply of an emergency generator and prompt cable repair by EDF energy.
Belhus 148 all out
Ardleigh Green 152-1
The Belhus cricket week had started the previous Sunday with a resounding defeat by its 1988 league winning team. The week ended with a loss of similar magnitude, this time by nine wickets. Put into bat, Belhus lurched to 13 for 4 only for a partnership of 82 between Danny Norris, 50 and Rob Joyce, 43, to give them the impression that they might post something decent. However, the bowling of Dack (4 for 17) and Mitchell (3 for 9) put paid to that idea and Belhus crashed to 148 all out in 37 overs. In response, Green sped home with nine wickets in hand thanks to the only century of the week from Hurworth who struck 104 in 82 balls with 13 fours and one six. His opening partnership with Robinson mustered 127. The Belhus club would like to thank all its supporters who made its 50th anniversary cricket celebrations possible, especially its caterers, umpires, scorers, sponsors and groundstaff.