Hornchurch Athletic 238-3
Belhus visited Hylands Park on Friday afternoon as part of the Hornchurch Athletic club’s cricket week as part of their 75th anniversary celebrations. It was a tale of two centurions. First, home batsman Hutchison stayed at the crease for the entire forty overs to post 108 not out, striking 17 fours in the process. Then, in the Belhus reply, Billy Winter hit 16 fours and one six in an innings of 104, until he was eventually caught on the leg side. He put on 127 for the fifth wicket with Michael Randall, who finished with 59 not out as these two helped rescue Belhus after they had slumped to 25 for the loss of four wickets. Weeks was the man to do the initial damage with 3-9 from six overs (one maiden). For Hornchurch Athletic, Phillips hit 48 in an opening partnership with Hutchison which yielded 134 runs until Phillips was comfortably caught by Daniel Dreher at deep mid-off to end what turned out to be a match-winning contribution from the Athletic’s openers.
Belhus 1st 256-2 dec
Old Parkonians 1st 226 all out
Belhus moved joint top of the Shepherd Neame Essex League division three after this fine win at Oakfield on Saturday. Skipper Wayne Read won the toss and invited Old Parks to field and Gavin Jefferies played another measured innings, finishing undefeated on 105 and hitting twelve boundaries in the process. He put on 69 for the first wicket with Read, while Danny Joyce hit 34 until be became the second and final Belhus wicket to fall when he was caught by Janagan Vijayanathan off the bowling of Kirubagaran Jayapragasam for 34. This dismissal opened the entrance door for Danny’s younger brother Joe, who crashed a rapid, and undefeated, 70 runs from just 56 deliveries and he blazed no fewer than three sixes and five fours. After tea, there was some solid batting from Old boys’ opener Hermes Solomonides with 52, while Glenn Sasikaren and Haris Khan both contributed 41. But Belhus paceman Dale Kenyon claimed 4-66 from 15.5 overs (three maidens), while Connor Day and Owen Jefferies picked up 3-65 and 3-58 respectively.
Belhus 1st 345 all out
Basildon and Pitsea 1st 163 all out
Belhus captain Joe Joyce hit a magnificent 93 as his team achieved the second highest score in the club’s history at Mopsies Park on Sunday. In fact they fell only one run short of the record, currently held by the tour eleven’s 346 against Happisburgh last year. However, the Belhus players will be more interested in the fact that their club remains at the top of the Essex Sunday League East division table, though their promotion to the league’s premier division still hangs in the balance as Goresbrook have played fewer games and have the potential to pip Belhus to the winners spot if they win their remaining games. Although Belhus have not lost a Sunday league game on the field, they have been forced to concede three games due to the weather. Supporting Joyce with the bat was Martin Guilbert with 52, while Daniel Dreher picked up 4-33 from seven impressive overs.
Old Parkonians 2nd 181 all out
Belhus 2nd 183-6
Spin bowlers Marc Lewis and Michael Cansdale operated in tandem for a large part of the afternoon and succeeded in taking eight Old Parks wickets between them. Lewis finished with 4-37 from 17 overs (five maidens), while Cansdale also picked up four wickets at a cost of 67 runs (two maidens). The introduction of spin had certainly swayed in favour of Belhus, but immediately after tea, Belhus found themselves at a rather precarious seven runs for three wickets. However, number three batsman Nick Marns hit a fine 65 while Lee Webber hit 36 in the middle order. It was left to skipper Chris Baker, with 12 not out, and Cansdale, 27 not out, to see Belhus home to a six-wicket victory. For the visitors, Balakumar picked up 4-45 from nine overs, two of which were maidens.
Belhus 2nd 293-2
Thurrock 2nd 94 all out
Jim Banner of Belhus Cricket Club celebrated his 45th birthday in some style at North Stifford when he struck his fifth century of his playing career. In becoming the third Belhus member to score a century in as many days, Banner hit 17 boundaries. He featured initally in an 85-run opening stand with Amit Gohil (37), but the real fireworks started when Banner was joined by the fourteen year old batting sensation Jake Wolfe. With a century already to his name just a few weeks ago, Wolfe reached the milestone for the second time by reaching his hundred from a pull shot off the final ball of the Belhus innings. Wolfe and Banner had put on 186 for the second wicket until Banner was adjudged leg before. The young centurion was then joined by Ben Kent, who unselfishly tapped the ball for a single to give Wolfe the strike in the final over. This selfless act gave Wolfe his chance and he made no mistake. Then Belhus opening bowler Jack Plane was flying high with 3-15 from fove overs (one maiden). In all, Belhus employed eight bowlers with Alfie Rowley, Paul Whitlock, Greg Mendham and Mike Randall picking up one wicket each. Almost inevitably, skipper Randall threw the ball to Wolfe with the visitors having lost nine wickets, and Wolfe duly obliged with a conclusion as Thurrock’s number nine batsman Farr was bowled. Wolfe finished with 1-6 from 2.1 overs (one maiden).
Belhus 3rd 203-6 dec
Wickford 3rd 115 all out
Belhus skipper Paul Whitlock made a well-judged declaration at Wickford Memorial Park on Saturday which gave his bowlers plenty of time to chip away at the home side’s solid resistance later in the afternoon. The top five Belhus batsmen all made significant contributions, with Tom Thompson hitting 25, Stephen Huckstepp scoring 15, while Jim Robertson hit 42 and Ben Marns returned to form with an excellent 61. Robertson and Marns were dismissed with consectuive deliveries, but the Belhus machine kept producing the runs through Jake Wolfe, 21. Richard Waters was undefeated on 18 when the expected declaration came. Jack McCarthy was the most successful home bowler with a superb 4-11 from five overs (two maidens). He came on fairly late in the Belhus innings, being introduced at the fourth change. The Belhus team comprised four former Saturday first eleven captains in Cliff Cansdale, Stephen Huckstepp, Jim Robertson and Richard Waters, so it was no surprise that the experience of this team shone through. By the time the last hour was called, Wickford had already lost nine wickets and facing the inevitability of defeat. Cansdale wrapped up the Wickford innings when he bowled number eleven batsman Adam Chapman for two runs, finishing with 5-45 from 11.2 overs. Richard Waters bagged 4-20 from eight overs (two maidens) while the remaining wicket was taken by captain Whitlock.
Wickford 4th 200-6 dec
Belhus 4th 152 all out
Belhus slumped to a 48-run defeat at the hands of Wickford at South Ockendon Recreation ground on Saturday and in doing so found themselves in the relegation zone of division three of the fourth team section of the Shepherd Neame Essex League. Belhus paceman David Taylor had pegged back the Wickford batsmen with 0-29 from 16 extremely tight overs, five of which were maidens. But then Wickford started to break loose, mainly through their number three batsman Philip Jones, who made 69. To rub salt into the wound, Belhus then floundered to Christopher Green who bagged 6-53 from 17.2 overs (three maidens). The Belhus top scorer was Michael Randall with 38. Earlier, Scott Stonham of Belhus picked up 4-40 from ten overs (one maiden).
Hainault and Clayhall 6th 153 all out
Belhus 5th 154-3
The Belhus fifth eleven continued their winning run, this time at league leaders Hainault and Clayhall, thus maintaining their unbeaten league record. Winning the toss and electing to bat, the hosts batted aggressively. However, once their two openers had been removed, the runs dried up and from 85 for 3 the innings slowed and following 5-22 from Belhus skipper Barry Ruck the innings expired at a total of 153. The initial Belhus response was less than impressive as both Belhus openers were dismissed cheaply with only six runs on the board. At this stage, the target seemed a long way off. But then Greg Mendham, 66 not out, and John Wilson with 62 runs put on a third wicket partnership of 119. This proved to be the springboard for a Belhus win as they raced to their target after just 27 overs.