Brentwood 1st 215-4
Belhus 1st 218-7
A 106-run partnership for the third wicket between Connor Elliot and Ryan Wells proved to be the driving force in this three wicket victory over Brentwood at the Old County Ground on Sunday. Connor Elliot hit 66 runs and Ryan Wells was run out for exactly 50. Elliot’s magnificent hitting gave the Belhus innings a much needed impetus as he struck ten fours and one six from 62 balls in 98 minutes at the crease. Meanwhile, the diminutive Wells half-century was established in 53 minutes; he faced 68 deliveries. Then Billy Winter hit one six and three fours in a strong supporting role of 24, then Michael Cansdale, with 21 not out, finished the job by pulling Hull over the square-leg boundary to conclude the game.
Earlier, the home side, Essex League premier division champions for the past three seasons, batted first and Richard Walford, after a quiet start, unleashed some powerful drives to strike a fine 104, until he was eventually caught at deep long-on by Connor Elliot off the bowling of Daniel Dreher (1-54). Walford hit nine fours and five sixes in a knock which lasted for 133 minutes, he faced 111 balls in the process. Undeterred, the Belhus bowlers and fielders kept toiling away, though there were other solid knocks from Pickney, 33, Moorti, 30 and Datta, not out 31.
Westcliff on Sea 1st 161-9
Belhus 1st 165-4
Danny Pheloung rescued Westcliff at Chalkwell Park on Saturday with a fine 86 after seeing half of his team back in the pavilion with only 20 runs on the board. It was Michael Fogg who featured in the dismissal of the first four batsmen on the Westcliff scorecard. In the very first over, Westcliff’s opening batsmen John Willens was run out when bowler Fogg deflected a return drive into the stumps at the bowlers end. Fogg, normally a wicketkeeper, then bowled Barnes and Lambert for thirteen runs between them. Much later, Pheloung chanced an additional run after a return throw had hit the stumps at the striker’s end, only for the alert Fogg to throw the stumps down at the bowler’s end with Pheloung short of his ground. Apart from Pheloung, only Chris Porter reached double figures with 41 runs. Fogg finished with 2-14 from five overs (one maiden), while Michael Cansdale and Owen Jefferies picked up 2-12 and 2-18 respectively. After tea, opener Ryan Wells hit a fine 45 until he was caught by Willens off the bowling of Pheloung (2-28), undeterred by the early loss of Jake Wolfe without score. Michael Cansdale top scored for Belhus with 48 until he was trapped leg before, while James Banner and the inevitable Fogg concluded matters with undefeated scores of 34 and 28 respectively.
Belhus 2nd 174-9
Dulwich 2nd 175-4
Steve Huckstepp and Amit Gohil put on 73 for the first Belhus wicket at North Stifford on Sunday, but they then saw their middle order collapse as visitors Dulwich clawed their way back into contention. Huckstepp hit nine boundaries in a fine 59 and Gohil played a valuable supporting role in the opening partnership with 25, hitting three fours in the process. With Danny Norris scoring 13 and Greg Mendham contributing 16, of the remaining batsmen. only number eight Scott Stonham reached double figures with 15. Although Dulwich reached their target to win by six wickets, the success was achieved with just two balls to spare. There were solid knocks from openers Stone and Persaud with 31 and 39 respectively, while number three batsman Ford contributed 23. Ebert and Glen finished the game both undefeated with 34 and 22 respectively, despite the best endeavours of Norris who claimed 3-39 from eight overs (one maiden) and Barry Ruck, 1-33 from seven overs.
Belhus 3rd 161-6
Cassowaries 134 all out
Belhus CC emerged as victors in a tight encounter at North Stifford on Saturday. With conditions not at their greatest due to heavy winds and the occasional shower, it took good spirit from both teams to make sure there wasn’t any interruptions due to the weather. Belhus captain Connor Elliot won the toss and chose to bat first, a decision which didn’t seem entirely convincing when opener Ben Kent fell in the first over for a duck then Elliot himself fell with the score on 19. The wickets kept tumbling and at the 16th over Belhus were 43-5 and looking in serious trouble. But when Scott Stonham came to the crease to join opener Mike Randall, this pair built a steady partnership of 68 to get the team up to a respectable score before Randall fell for 47 in the 35th over. This left Belhus on 111-6 with five overs to go and in desperate need of more runs. Their prayers were answered when number eight batsman Danny Norris came to the crease and he and Stonham produced a late charge to get Belhus up to 161 in their 40 overs. Stonham finished on 38 not out and Norris produced a brutal innings of 39 not out off less than 20 balls. Cassowaries bowled well and wickets were shared between T. Keep and Tayyab with two wickets each while Vigors and Patel claimed one apiece.
After tea, Belhus knew they would have to bowl and field well to stand a chance on a good pitch. Opening bowlers Rob Joyce and Alan Maidment bowled well but received no reward as both Cassowaries’ batsmen rode their luck. However, Cassowaries reached 50 without loss and looked strong, especially opening batsman Imran who had launched an assault on the Belhus bowlers, this was before first change bowler Norris had Hobbs caught to leave the visitors 50-1 but they were still in the ascendency. First change bowler Jack Plane then had number three batsman Swain caught for just four runs with the score on 55-2 and Belhus sensing a fightback though recognising that they had the dangerous Imran at the crease. But Imran chanced his arm one time too many when he went for another big shot into the leg side but captain Elliot caught a skyer on the boundary to leave Cassowaries 61-3 and Imran back in the pavilion for 61 runs. Norris picked up 2-31 to cap a fine performance with the willow earlier. But the real drama came when John Forrest and Stonham were introduced to the attack. They simply turned the game on its head as Cassowaries collapsed from 103-3 to 134 all out. Forrest bowled well to pick up two wickets at a cost of 19 runs from five overs (one maiden), but Stonham stole the show with 5-22 from six overs (two maidens) to add to his earlier 38 not out to leave Belhus eventual victors by 27 runs.