Fine all-round performances from Belhus CC

Gidea Park and Romford 1st 237-5
Belhus 1st 212-8

Belhus produced an inspiring performance in this second round Dukes League Cup clash at Gallows Corner on Saturday. Their hosts are two divisions above them in the Shepherd Neame League but for the most part, Belhus matched their loftier opponents despite failing by just 25 runs. It was Gavin Jefferies with a fine 88 who led an almost perfect response to Gidea Park and Romford’s total, while Billy Winter provided valuable support with 45, to add to his 2-49, a catch and a run-out earlier.

The home batting was particularly strong, assisted by occasional judgement errors in the field as catching opportunities were lost in a swirling breeze. Opener Sameer Zia scored 29 until he was trapped leg before wicket by Connor Day (1-38), Sameer’s opening partner Luke Baker contributed 44. Home captain Russell Collard hit 24 until he became the first of young Winter’s victims, Chris Collier remained undefeated with a fine 73. Asim Razzaq hit 47 as the top five batsmen produced a total of 217 runs between them. As the old sporting cliche says, Belhus can now concentrate on the league but they take many positives from their cup run.

Their opening fixture in the Shepherd Neame division three is this coming Saturday when they host Billericay at North Stifford, 12.30pm start.

Belhus 1st 252-9
Southend EMT 1st 136-6

Belhus powered their way to back-to-back victories in the Essex Sunday League East division – and for the second week running managed to defeat their opposition by
over 100 runs. It was Southend’s turn to face the Belhus music at a breezy Southchurch Park as Belhus openers Joe Joyce and Chris Didd put on exactly 50 runs for the
first wicket until Didd had his furniture re-arranged by the sharp bowling of Max McNamara, Southend’s import from the ranks of the New South Wales second eleven.
Paul Bennett joined Joyce at the wicket and these two attacked the home bowling in their different styles; Joyce with guile and exquisite timing, while Bennett used
his strength to smash the attack to all parts of the ground to reach a fine century. The one thorn in the Belhus side was undoubtedly McNamara, for amongst the
carnage going on around him, he picked up six wickets at a cost of just 19 runs from his eight-over spell. This included the wickets of the two Michaels – Fogg and
Cansdale – both becoming eligible for membership of The Primary Club due to their first ball dismissals. Joe Joyce was trapped leg before wicket for 89, after
surviving a missed stumping on 77. But apart from that, Joyce was faultless, so too Bennett. Joyce struck 15 fours in his innings from 87 balls in an innings which
lasted 97 minutes, while Bennett added two sixes to his fifteen fours from 78 balls faced in his aggressive 106. It was an extraordinarily uneven Belhus scorecard,
with no other batsman reaching double figures.

After tea, the Southend innings never really reached top gear as the home side were pegged back by the tight bowling of Theeban Tavarasa, his eight-over spell included
an incredible six maidens at a cost of just five runs. Cansdale further restricted the home side by delivering 1-11 from his maximum of eight overs and on a pitch
conducive to spin, the home side were exasperated to find a third spin bowler being gainfully employed in Ryan Wells (2-11). For Southend, opening batsman Glen
Norfolk top scored with 40 runs to his credit, while Part-time Belhus bowler Martin Guilbert nagged away with slight sideways movement to pick up 2-30 from eight overs.

Belhus 2nd 185 all out
Gidea Park and Romford 2nd 186-3

Belhus had six batsmen in double figures at North Stifford on Saturday, but none managed to dominate the visiting attack to the extent of making a big, match-winning
score. The domineering use of the willow came from a match-winning undefeated 71 from Gidea Park’s Michael Pegram. He was one of the five visiting batsmen needed to
chalk up this seven-wicket victory. Opener Brijesh Patel hit 32, Mukund Rajan struck 26, Baljit Jutla contributed 18 and Vamshi Lingala joined Pegram in the final
unbroken partnership and making 13 not out in the process. For Belhus, Scott Bayford top scored with 45, he was supported by Michael Cansdale with 25. Mark Sansom
and Danny Norris were both dismissed with 17 runs to their name, while Ryan Wells collected 16 runs and Stephen Huckstepp managed ten runs. The three Gideas Park and
Romford wickets were apportioned equally between Christopher Didd (1-14), Owen Jefferies (1-36) and Mark Winter (1-29). Hafiz Ali was the pick of the visiting bowlers
with 3-21 from eight overs.

Belhus 2nd 174 all out
Nuxley 175-3

Owen Jefferies hit a fine 46 not out off just 26 balls from the Belhus tail which helped his team to a respectable total of 174, while earlier contributions came from Mike Randall with a tidy 38 and captain Dan Norris, who scored 32. Nuxley’s bowling was tidy as Elmay and Phillips shared six wickets with 3-17 and 3-36 respectively. Belhus bowled competitively when the visitors took strike, but with almost every ball finding a gap in the field there was little luck for the North Stifford hosts, but there were positive contributions from all the Belhus bowlers, Jefferies bowled economical as Greg Mendham, Mathew Lewis Jnr and Connor Elliot all finished with one wicket apiece. Hahn top scored with 76 for Nuxley which ultimately proved to be the difference between the sides.

Belhus 3rd 172-7
Liberty Casuals 87 all out

Belhus U13 squad member Mathew Lewis showed his class by top-scoring with a fine 30 in a strong batting performance in difficult conditions at the Ockendon Meadow on
Saturday. He was supported by Lee Webber with 28 and opener Jim Robertson played some fluent strokes in a majestic 27. After the break, Alan Maidment steamed in
from the Church End and was at last rewarded for his unwavering effort after two previous weeks of toil for no return. He finished with three wickets for just
seventeen runs from eight overs, one of which was a maiden.

Belhus 4th 127 all out
Lindsell 122 all out

The Belhus fourth eleven played their first game of the season at the picturesque North Essex venue of Lindsell. A very enjoyable game produced a close finish as
Belhus edged home by just five Runs. Connor Elliot struck his maiden half-century for the visitors with a fine 56, though many of his team colleagues found batting
difficult as Wickets fell at regular intervals. Home skipper Menhenick took 3-13 off ten overs of left arm spin. Giles wrapped up the innings taking four wickets for
just two runs in 3.4 overs. In reply, Lindsell started off brightly until Graham Davidge removed opener Sutton. Belhus captain Mike Squires took 4-30 from ten overs
including Lindsell top scorer Crawford for 61. Richard Waters chipped in with figures of 3-10 from 7 overs. Davidge came back on to take the last wicket in a thrilling
finale.

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