Cricket: Re-Joyce as Belhus are crowned champions

Horndon on the Hill 1st 213-8

Belhus 1st 215-1

BELHUS clinched the Shepherd Neame Essex League division two title in style at Horndon Recreation Ground on Saturday. Not for the first time, a masterful batting display by the Joyce brothers made light work of the Horndon total.

Captain Danny, opening the innings, led the way with 105 not out, his third century of the season. Brother Joe contributed 76 until he became the only visiting batsman to lose his wicket, caught by James Stitson from the bowling of Daniel Petts (1-47). Ryan Wells was the other undefeated batsman with 15 as Belhus claimed their division one place for 2017. In the Horndon innings, middle order batsman Gary Ginsburgh struck an undefeated 72, while openers Tom Stone and Michael Canavon scored 35 and 48 respectively. 22 runs were posted by Damien Sweet, but Gary Sanderson, Daniel Dreher, Joe Joyce and Bradley Mason picked up two wickets each for the champions.

Old Victorians 300-7

Belhus 303-3

The occasional Belhus midweek team took to the field on Wednesday and chased down a huge target inside 31 overs. On a superb North Stifford pitch and lightning fast outfield, it was hard work for bowlers and fielders alike as the runs flowed afternoon. Visiting batsman Rehman certainly flourished in the perfect batting conditions as he struck 179 not out to rescue his team. After the break, teenagers Zak Wilson and Eathan Morris set the ball rolling, literally, to all parts of the ground with 55 and 28 respectively. Then Russ Blackburn hit almost everything than came his way until he missed a straight delivery at 43. From the middle order, Wayne Read and George Maidment polished the match off in style, both undefeated on 102 and 52.

Belhus 2nd 271-7

Old Southendian and Southchurch 2nd 273-1

The second eleven division two winners visited North Stifford and showed their prowess with the bat as they stormed to a nine-wicket win. Gareth Bull was in spectacular form with an undefeated 173. The mammoth innings came from 113 deliveries and included 28 fours and one six. Third batsman Evan Johnson finished on 65 not out from the same number of balls. The only home success in the post tea session came when Phil Clark was caught by Chris Baker of Matthew Williams (1-31) for 25. Earlier, Imran Mohammed produced a personal best score for Belhus of 79 not out, while Williams laid the foundations of a fine all-round performance with an undefeated 65. Charlie Lewis contributed 48, while Mark Sansom and Wayne Read hit 38 and 29 respectively. Yet all were to be upstaged later by the brilliance of Bull. The Old Boys’ bowling honours were shared by Chris Ashdown, 3-32 and Gary Threadgold, 3-75.

Chelmsford 5th 207-5

Belhus 3rd 212-3

Belhus won the toss and elected to field at Chelmer Park on Saturday, which saw the home side build a reasonable total through Tremeling, 65, and Odebra, who finished unbeaten on 72. The Belhus response was dynamic with 100 runs being scored in the first thirteen overs. Jack Plane and Tom Thompson put on 98 for the first wicket with Plane captain scoring 54. Jake Wolfe ensured a steady landing with an undefeated 49 to add to his achievement of an excellent run-out by a direct throw from the boundary earlier in the match. With one remaining match, Belhus are two points behind division leaders Horndon on the Hill. Both teams meet this coming Saturday at Ockendon Recreation Ground in a title decider. Scriptwriters are not required for Belhus in this incredible year.

Upminster 6th 167 all out

Belhus 4th 168-4

Robert Long picked up a five wicket haul for the third time this season. This time it was Upminster to feel the force of a 5-37 return. Belhus had won the toss and invited their Havering neighbours to take first knock on a slow pitch at Ockendon Recreation ground. Ewan Day and Mike Randall both scored 42 in a second wicket partnership of 99, with Day undefeated at the close. Earlier, there was a cameo innings of 27 off 20 deliveries from Zak Wilson. In a situation which almost mirrors that of the Belhus third eleven, there is one remaining league match next Saturday, Belhus have a 14 point lead in their Shepherd Neame division. Their opponents will be second-placed Fives and Heronians in a title decider.

Belhus 5th 259-4

Brentwood 6th 186

For the second week running, Jack Thomas blasted his way to a century as he beat his own club record score for a fifth eleven batsman. His 144 included twenty fours and three sixes as he put on 105 for the first wicket with Ryan Prendergast. There were further contributions to come as Jordan Sullivan and Don East were both undefeated with 44 and 23 respectively. Sullivan hit seven fours while East struck five boundaries as this Belhus side recorded their highest ever team score. After tea, Raj top scored for the home side with 52, to add to his earlier 2-54. Bradley Bunce of Belhus continued his good bowling efforts with 3-38, while there was one wicket each for Billy Sloan, Prendergast, Sullivan and Tyler Robertson. The match was wrapped up by Wilf Gansbuhler’s three wickets for just three runs.

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