Belhus 1st 306-3
Stanford le Hope 1st 183 all out
Belhus ensured an eighth-place finish in the Shepherd Neame Essex League Division Two following an 123-run thumping of their near neighbours at North Stifford on Saturday. The home side won the toss and elected to bat. The opening partnership of Gavin Jefferies and Michael Fogg yielded 76 runs with Fogg the first to go, caught by Gary Sanderson off the bowling of Lee Knight (1-39) for 45. The in-form Fogg, fresh from his two centuries the previous week, faced 52 balls and hit six fours and one maximum. Jefferies continued the momentum and fell just three runs short of a deserving century when he was caught by Jono Symes off Sachin Sewgobind (1-67) from 118 deliveries and put eleven boundaries into the mix. The onslaught of the Stanford attack continued as Joe Joyce struck a magnificent 109 from 106 balls, after which he was trapped leg before by Matthew Higgins (1-73).
After tea, Belhus paceman Dale Kenyon had Stanford in all sorts of trouble; they lost their first three batsmen, Knight, Alex Ellis and Martin Leslie with only five runs scored. Knight was caught for a duck by Joe Joyce having faced just five balls, while Leslie suffered a similar fate having faced one delivery more, a victim of one of two catches pouched by Billy Winter. Ellis was next to go, he alone was responsible for the five-run accrual, but Fogg gleefully accepted a chance behind the stumps. Kenyon went on to pick up one further wicket, that of Higgins for 21, to finish with 4-35 from ten overs (two maidens). Stanford’s middle and late order rallied through Sewgobind, 20, Ross Poulton top scored with 41, Michael Gray hit 28, while Duncan Page and Symes contributed 17 and 23 not out respectively. The visitors were eventually dismissed after 45.2 overs as Winter claimed 2-31 from 6.2 overs (one maiden), Martin Guilbert returned 2-34 from ten overs, which also included one maiden, while Owen Jefferies and Joe Joyce picked up one wicket each.
Belhus 2nd 223-9 dec
Stanford le Hope 2nd 226-3
Stanford’s Greg Barr consigned Belhus to division three of the second team section of the Shepherd Neame League with a fine all-round performance. Barr claimed 4-67 from 13 overs (one maiden) and then smashed a magnificent 101 from just 91 deliveries, hitting 21 fours in the process. Belhus themselves had made a bright start, despite the early loss of Danny Norris without score. Opener Ryan Wells hit 31 while there were significant scores from a further six batsmen, but none were able to dominate the ball to such an extent that would have yielded some big individual scores. Charlie Lewis crashed 30, John Lewis made 29, while Roy Heffernan, Chris Baker, Michael Cansdale and Ben Kent contributed 25, 28, 22 and 28 respectively. But Chay Hedges complemented Barr’s crease occupation with 53 not out from only 35 deliveries, hitting eleven fours and one maximum. For Belhus, the three home wickets to fall were taken by Imran Mohammed, Norris and Wells.
Belhus 3rd 279-6 dec
Southend EMT 4th 168-5
This game ended in a tame draw after the seasiders were set 280 to win in a time slot which allowed just 37 overs. Stuart Morris and Brian Edwards cashed in on the tame pitch at Ockendon Recreation Ground with 66 and 60 runs respectively while James Banner, 46, and Jim Robertson, 47, offered solid support. Visiting spin bowler Nigel Green topped the Southend attack with 3-76 from fifteen overs (one maiden). After the break, opener Craig Porter remained undefeated on 49, James Gilroy was bowled by Jack Plane (3-19) for 44 while Martin Hill played out time with a steady 30 not out. Cliff Cansdale picked up the remaining two wickets to fall, 2-32 from nine overs (two maidens). Southend finished as division runners-up, while Belhus finished in fifth place. Meanwhile, the Belhus fourth team finished fourth in their respective devision following a ten-wicket win over Upminster sixth eleven at Campion School, thanks to a 5-10 haul from medium pacer Scott Stonham.