Shepherd Neame Division Two: Tough day at the office as south Essex quartet get beaten

Echo: Leigh-on-Sea lost their encounter at Orsett Leigh-on-Sea lost their encounter at Orsett

IT was a bad day all around for south Essex sides as Westcliff, Leigh, Billericay and Horndon-on-the-Hill all lost.

Westcliff took on Gidea Park & Romford in a bottom-of-the-table clash at Chalkwell Park and the home team did not get off to the best of starts, losing three early wickets after skipper Graham Cox lost the toss.

Westcliff were 5-3 in the early stages before a steady innings from Peter Barnes (57), and support from Leon Sealy (41) put Westcliff in a better position. However, a collapse from the tail, aside from 29 from Gary Vann, saw them all out for 148.

The away side reached the target with six wickets down and skipper Cox said his side’s batting performance was not up to scratch.

“We didn’t get enough runs,” said Cox. “Another 50 runs and it would have been a different story. They had a strong opening bowler and we struggled to deal with it.”

Meanwhile, Leigh were bowled out for a mere 113 by Orsett, with the Thurrock side chasing down the target with the loss of only three wickets.

“They bowled well,” said captain Dean Waller. “We have to be more selfish. It wasn’t a good day but we move on to next week.”

Billericay were looking to build on a solid start to the season against table-topping Hornchurch but, after winning the toss and electing to bat, only one batsmen hit a notable knock, Paul Walter making an impressive 91 as Billericay made 177.

Hornchurch chased down the target with ease, losing only two wickets and Ronnie Saunders hitting an unbeaten 102.

Horndon came within 11 runs of a win against West Essex. They put West Essex into bat and six batsmen hit scores of ten or more on the way to a total of 172.

Horndon started poorly when Connor Hammond went for a duck but 54 from Liam Hubbard, before he was run-out, meant Horndon finished with 162 despite battling closing knocks from Jack Walsh (12no) and Ryan Cutts (17).

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