STANFORD le Hope won their third match in as many weeks to take third place at the final week of U14 indoor cricket competition at Grays School on Friday evening. But their opponents, Horndon on the Hill started strongly by scoring exactly 100 for the loss of four wickets. Sam Smith led the way with 25 not out, while Zak Burdett also made a significant contribution by scoring 20 runs.
But the Stanford batsmen, principally Jack Carter, William Pearn and Alfie Drum were up for a challenge and these three powered their team to an emphatic five-wicket win with one over and three balls to spare. Carter top scored with 27 not out, Pearn tallied 25 not out while Drum struck an undefeated 19 as Stanford finished on 101 for the loss of just one wicket. Earlier, Callum McCarthy and Drum picked up three Horndon wickets between them, finishing with 2-14 and 1-31 respectively.
Meanwhile, Orsett “A”, who clinched the title last week, completed their programme with a 100% record following a 54-run success over Thurrock “B”. Orsett “A” scored a mammoth 139 for the loss of three wickets, while Thurrock “B” responded with 85 for the same wicket count. Chief run-makers for the champions were Will Gibbon with 29 not out, Connor Boreham, who struck an undefeated 22, while Dylan Rose closed unbeaten on 23. Thurrock “B”, who finished fourth, had Alfie Feeney on top form with 25 not out while support was provided in the shape of 16 runs from Connor Ramm.
Lowly Belhus, whose performances had gradually improved during the event, left their best until last as they overcame Orsett “B” by 34 runs to record their first win. Like Horndon earlier, Belhus also scored 100 runs, but for two fewer wickets. After they lost their first wicket without a notch on the board, Braydon Scarlett unearthed a magnificent 29 not out while he received strong assistance from Billy Maidment with 25, equally undefeated. Initially, Orsett “B” kept up with the required rate through Alfie Buttle with 24 and Sheraz Shahid with a baker’s dozen, but leg spinner Mark Fogg picked up two wickets at a cost of just three runs, while Eathan Morris returned 1-17 and Scarlett completed a fine all-round match with 1-16. Orsett “B” closed on 66 for the loss of five wickets.
This Friday (22nd February) sees the start of the U16 tournament. Fixtures: 6pm – Stanford le Hope v Horndon on the Hill; 7pm – Orsett “A” v Orsett “B”; 8pm – Thurrock v Belhus “B”.