Belhus 1st 195 all out
West Essex 1st 196-6
Belhus slid to a four-wicket defeat at the hands of the visiting West Essex team with two overs remaining in this Shepherd Neame division three fixture. Gavin Jefferies, 51, and Martin Guilbert, 32, put on 69 for the first wicket and there were other useful knocks from Joe Joyce, 50, and Danny Joyce, 29. After the break, Zia Anwar hit a patient 54 from 105 balls faced. With good support from Teepo Afzal with 39 and 22 from opener Arun Parameswaran, this enabled Julian Joy and Gareth Jenkins to see West Essex home with an unbeaten 18 and 28 respectively. For Belhus, Connor Day, Billy Winter, Guilbert and Danny Joyce each took one wicket.
Stanford 2nd 170 all out
Belhus 2nd 127 all out
Devastating spells of bowling from Greg Barr and Greg Cohens sealed the Belhus fate at Stanford Recreation ground on Saturday. Cohens picked up five wickets at a cost of just 17 runs from ten overs, while Barr claimed four victims for 39 runs from twelve overs. Five Belhus batsmen suffered the ignominy of being dismissed without score – four of them to Cohens, but Scott Bayford weathered the storm with 35 as did Danny Norris with 31. In this league fixture between the top two teams in the division, Stanford prized some daylight between them and their local rivals as Barr started a fine all-round performance by top-scoring for his side with 33.
Gidea Park and Romford 4th 199-x dec
Belhus 3rd 201-4
Stuart Morris guided Belhus to a fine six-wicket victory at South Ockendon Recreation Ground on Saturday by striking a fine 101 from 164 deliveries. And how Belhus needed some supremacy in this game after a stuttering performance with the ball. In amongst the usual workmanlike and consistent performances from Alan Maidment (2-40) and Lee Webber (1-42), four hapless overs elsewhere went for a staggering 49 runs which contributed a quarter of the visitor’s total score. Daniel Dreher restored the balance by picking up 3-15 from eight overs which included four maidens. For the visitors, left-handed opener Sam Hewitt top scored with 78, until he became Dreher’s first victim, caught and bowled courtesy of a one-handed reflex achievement. Supporting Morris with the bat was opening colleague Jim Banner, with a solid 42.
Belhus 4th 160-9 dec
West Essex 4th 162-7
Mike Randall, the Belhus veteran opener, stayed at the crease for all 52 overs of his team’s innings at the West Essex club on Saturday, but such was the dominance of ball over bat in damp, bowler-friendly conditions, he might well be forgiven for scoring at slightly less than one run per over to achieve 51 not out. Seldom before has the cricketing term of anchor been more appropriate. Number eight batsman Jack Plane contributed 28 in the face of a highly damaging spell from Graeme Eversden, 6-52 from 20 overs, which included five maidens. For Belhus, Mike Squires returned 3-17 while Brian Edwards and Rob Long picked up two wickets each.
Rayleigh 5th 158-9
Belhus 5th 149 all out
The Belhus fifth eleven made a welcome re-entry to the cricketing stage after a two-year rest as they travelled to Purleigh CC where Rayleigh were their hosts. Belhus skipper Barry Ruck won the toss and invited Rayleigh to take first knock. The hosts initially struggled against the under-15 opening attack of Jack Martin-Hussey (3-13) and Elliot Playle (2-17), though Keeley with 47 runs took control and James, 24, kept the scoreboard moving. More Belhus U15 squad members claimed wickets through Jake Wolfe (1-28) and Mason Ruck (2-31), as these combined efforts restricted the build of the Rayleigh innings. Despite a slow reply, at 94 for 2 the target looked within reach, however when Opener Don East (49) and John Wilson (44) fell in quick succession, only Wolfe (11) and Martin-Hussey (16) reached double figures as Belhus fell nine tantalising runs short.