Cricket: Belhus are promoted!

Belhus 1st 208 all out
Epping 1st 118 all out

Belhus gained promotion to division two of the Shepherd Neame Essex League with a 90-run success over Epping at Lower Bury Lane on Saturday. The home side won the toss and invited Belhus to bat first. Openers Gavin Jefferies and Wayne Read put on 44 for the first wicket, until Jefferies was bowled by Owais Hussein (1-48) for 19 runs. Next to go was Danny Joyce, trapped leg before by William Beavers (1-45) with his score on 28, but the Belhus score had doubled by the time the second wicket fell. Eighteen runs later, skipper Read was returning to the pavilion for 30 runs, being the first of three wickets to be claimed by Yaqoob Khushi (3-40). Joe Joyce hit 27 runs from 36 deliveries in a knock which included four boundaries, followed by a positive innings of 45 from Richard Day in an innings which saw him hit seven fours from 51 balls. Carl Ginn took the lion’s share of the wickets by claiming 4-30 from nine overs, one of which was a maiden.

The Epping batsmen never seriously threatened the Belhus total as only four of their number managed to reach double figures. Opener Tauseef Rahman and number three batsman Beavers both made 13, while Jacob Ellis top scored for the home team with 35 from 34 balls faced, hitting five boundaries in the process, but the innings came to an abrupt end when his furniture was re-arranged by leg-spinner Owen Jefferies (2-21). Billy Winter made some serious inroads by wiping out the Epping middle order with 3-29 from seven overs, two of which were maidens. Further down the order at number eight, Ben Marks hit 16 until he was caught by Belhus wicketkeeper Michael Fogg off the bowling of Martin Guilbert (1-4). And when Dale Kenyon (4-32) bowled Epping’s number ten batsman Neil McCann to end the league season, the celebrations began in style. Belhus finished the season just one point behind champions Basildon and Pitsea.

Epping 2nd 164 all out
Belhus 2nd 165-3

Belhus are champions of division three of the second eleven competition following another league win on their North Stifford ground on Saturday. It was Scott Bayford who led the way for the Belhus team with a fine knock of 88 not out and he was supported by his captain Chris Baker with 30, to add to the skipper’s three wickets earlier in the afternoon. Also picking up three wickets for Belhus was Robert Joyce, while Marc Lewis and Richard Waters took one wicket each. Understandably, Baker was ecstatic with his team’s achievement. It had been twenty years since the Belhus seconds last won a league title when some of the current players were not even born! Baker said: “It has been a great season and we thoroughly deserved to finish where we have. We have played some excellent cricket and the strength in depth of our squad has been phenomenal and a great asset. Well done to the entire team and the whole club, especially to Richard Day and Brian Edwards for the amazing pitches they have prepared during the season”. Belhus finished nine points clear of second placed Stanford le Hope, who join Belhus in division two next season.

Belhus 3rd 133 all out
Colchester and East Essex 3rd 134-5

Belhus thirds ended their league season on a disappointing note as they crashed to a five-wicket defeat at Colchester’s Garrison Ground on Saturday. Belhus were struggling at 26 for the loss of three wickets but then James Robertson and Stuart Morris played patiently and solidly, though both were eventually bowled middle stump by the impressive seam bowling from Vickers, who had a cleverly disguised slower ball in his locker, which accounted for Robertson for 11 runs from 57 balls faced. Morris went to a quicker ball, shortly after the break for drinks, for 19 runs from 49 deliveries. Mathew Lewis junior had a fine all-round game for Belhus. He hit three fours and one six in an innings of 28 runs and later picked up 1-20. Visiting skipper Paul Whitlock was the fourth and final Belhus batsman to reach double figures with 16 runs from 18 deliveries.

After tea, Belhus picked up two wickets inside the first two overs. Wheeler fell to Lewis without score, the remaining opener Parsons went to a catch at backward point by Stuart Morris off the bowling of Cliff Cansdale (1-26) for just three runs. But then a 92-run partnership for the third wicket between Eaton and Bashell effectively sealed the Belhus fate. Eaton was eventually dismissed when he was bowled by John Forrest (2-13) for exactly 50, but Bashell plundered 62 not out from 92 deliveries and his innings included nine boundaries. With the game virtually up with the home side requiring just four runs for victory, Whitlock invited Morris to bowl and this rare sight saw the part-timer clean bowl a surprised Gallagher for seven runs to finish with one wicket for just two runs from a solitary over. Belhus thirds finished their league season in fourth place.

Belhus 4th 220-5 dec
Upminster 6th 91 all out

This Belhus team finished their first season in division two of the Shepherd Neame Essex League in sixth place following a resounding 129-run victory over near neighbours Upminster at South Ockendon Recreation Ground on Saturday. Jake Wolfe and Ben Kent were in splended form with the bat as Wolfe hit 76 from 60 balls faced, hitting thirteen boundaries in the process. Kent hit 85 from 70 balls in an innings which included eleven fours and two sixes. Ryan Wells and Jack Plane scored a dozen runs each, the latter undefeated, while Mike Randall also reached double figures with ten runs to his name. Paul Scott picked up 2-49 from five overs for Upminster, while Jack Culliford, James Brooks and Mike Ashby picked up one wicket each. After tea, it was Brooks, Ashby and Scott who reached double figures with 16, 11 and 14 respectively and they were joined in the double-figure club by Matthew Ashby, batting at number nine, who top scored for the visitors with 19 runs. For Belhus, five of the six bowlers employed became wicket takers. Leading the way was Robert Long with 3-10 from eight overs (four maidens), while Sam Hall, Scott Stonham and Plane picked up two wickets each. The remaining wicket to fall was picked up by Paul Ha

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