Belhus 1st 338-9
Ongar 1st 242-8
Belhus achieved their highest ever first eleven total in a league match when they amassed 338 in this Shepherd Neame Essex League division three encounter. Joe Joyce led the way with a fine 126 as he put on 120 for the fourth wicket with his brother Danny, who made 43. There were other significant contributions from Wayne Read 38, Richard Day 35 and Michael Fogg 36.
For Ongar, wicketkeeper Sean Russell had a hand in each of the first four Belhus batsmen on their scorecard; Gavin Jefferies with 12 runs and Joe Joyce were both stumped off the bowling of Peter Ellis (4-48) and Rakesh Bagga (1-41) while Martin Gulbert was caught behind without score off Michael Hayward (1-78) and Read was similarly caught behind off Zaka.
It was always unlikely that Ongar would overcome the daunting challenge that lay ahead of them in the post-tea session.
The Belhus supremacy was reinforced when Connor Day conceded just fourteen runs from his ten overs which included four maidens. He also picked up the wicket of Ongar’s top scorer Hayward, who made 62. Michael Cansdale picked up 3-59, also from ten overs, while Dale Kenyon returned 2-60. Guilbert and Billy Winter joined Connor Day by picking up up one wicket each. There have only been two instances in the Belhus club’s history when scores of over 338 had been made. In July 1989, the club’s second eleven made 346 against Downshall CC, while more recently in July last year, a Belhus tour eleven scored 346 against Happisburgh CC.
Ongar 2nd 193-8 dec
Belhus 2nd 194-7
The Belhus second eleven made heavy weather of this Shepherd Neame Essex League fixture at North Stifford but thanks to an exact half-century from Scott Bayford, Belhus finally came out on top by three wickets. Supporting the Bayford bat were Mark Sansom 38, Danny Norris 30, Jamie Riley 19 and Ryan Wells with 15. Mario Picceri and Lajbar Alikhail picked up three wickets each for the visitors at a cost of 66 and 60 run respectively. Earlier, Ongar opener Asfak Patel top scored with 35, and he received valuable support from Mohammad Alikhail 28, Shahid Gulzar 23, while Imran Durrani remained undefeated on 33. Jamie Riley, Rob Joyce and Owen Jefferies picked up two wickets each, while David Taylor collected one scalp.
Hornchurch 4th 257-3 dec
Belhus 3rd 258-7
The Belhus third eleven achieved their highest team score batting second in this extraordinary run-chase at the Fielders Sports Ground on Saturday. Never before has a playing area been so aptly named as both sides tested their opponent’s mettle as the ball was flayed to all parts of the ground throughout an enthralling afternoon’s play. Belhus had a dream start when Alan Maidment, in his opening over from the Cromer Road end, had Hornchurch opener George Clark trapped leg before for just seven runs. With the very next ball, Maidment removed Abul Hasnat without score as the home side were shocked to find themselves at 10 for two.
With Robin Sen being caught behind by Ben Kent to become Maidment’s third victim, things were looking rosy for the Belhus team but then Tony Willison hit an undefeated 127 from 164 balls, while Matthew Sullivan was also unbeaten with a fine innings of 70 runs. But how Belhus responded in the post-tea session. Brian Edwards and Jim Robertson both hit 25, John Forrest struck 46 but the real match-winners were Lee Webber and skipper Paul Whitlock. Webber finished undefeated on 55 while Whitlock concluded the affair by scoring 32 not out. For the home side, Muhammed Bilal took 3-86 from 15 overs (one maiden) while Sullivan completed a fine all-round game by returning 2-44.
For Belhus, Maidment finished with 3-73 from 15 overs (two maidens).
Belhus 4th 164-8 dec
Gidea Park and Romford 5th 149-8
Gidea Park’s Andy Jenner impressed with 6-36 at Ockendon Recreation Ground on Saturday though two Jacks – Plane and Panteli – hit 42 and 32 respectively for the home team. Rushanth Perera then scored 41 but Gidea Park and Romford settled for a draw. Robert Long was the pick of the home bowlers, with 3-20 from 16 overs, nine of which were maidens.