Shepherd Neame Division Three: Re-energised Old Boys back on track with comfy victory

Old Southendian & Southchurch skipper Aaron Lucas in action last season

Old Southendian & Southchurch skipper Aaron Lucas in action last season

First published in Sport by

OLD Southendian & Southchurch captain Aaron Lucas said his team’s energy was back as they defeated visitors Woodford Green by seven wickets.

Adam Hunt took 5-15 and overseas player Michael Hill 3-27 as Woodford Green were skittled out for 73 in 31.4 overs, with Jack Cossey (18) faring best.

Rob Johnston then continued his early season formwith the bat by hitting 39 as Old Southendian replied with 76-3 in 23.3 overs, with Lucas hitting an unbeaten 12.

“It was a good win and the energy was back after the Stanforddefeatwhere we were flat for some reason,” said Lucas.

“We hadn’t played Woodford Green for years and years and I thought theywould be better than theywere.

“But in the end we were just very clinical with our bowling and all the guys seemed to be really focused.

“It was a really good bowling performance and the fielding was excellent as well. We didn’t drop any catches and that made a hell of a difference. Rob is in good nick at the moment with the bat.”

Benfleet captain James Wilkins was disappointed after his team lost by a wicket to Epping.

The visitorswere bowled out for 169 before Epping replied with 172- 9 to secure their first win of the season.

“We only got 169 but we just didn’t get the rub of the green and we were left feeling hard done by after some of the umpiring decisions,” said Wilkins.

“To lose to Epping was one of the worst feelings I have had in cricket. They are very poor but you have still got to beat them.

“We are not one of the better sides in the league but we are better than that defeat.

“On the positive side, Paul Frensham got eight wickets and bowled superbly.

“We had them at 120-9 at one stage and they put on 50 for the last wicket, but at 120-9 we should have won.”

Opener Gary Valentine (21) made progress but two ducks left Benfleet struggling until Aaron Toner (47), Kieran Record (33) and Wilkins (22) added some substance in the middle order.

But Benfleet were bowled out for 169 in 50.2 overs as Ali Raza (4- 57) led the Epping attack.

Salah Uddin Quadir (40), Gokul Balasubramanian (20) and Yasin Vadasaria (16)madeinroads into the reply before becoming victims of Frensham and Rob Zammit (1-15).

But Frensham (8-71) claimed four wickets for a duck each as Benfleet turned the screw before Ajay Sahni (42no) and Raza (10no) got Epping home.

Basildon & Pitsea captain Michael Gray felt a lack of a big knock from one of his batsmen was the deciding factor as they lost by 68 runs to HarlowTown.

The visitorswere bowled out for 232 but Basildon were all back in the Mopsies Park pavilion for 164.

“We needed someone to get in and score 70 or 80 runs because that would have seen us home,” said Gray.

“A few of the lads got going but couldn’t push on and then Harlow took wickets in clusters.

“A score of 230 was not bad but Dan Bedforddid well, taking seven wickets, to keep us in the game.”

Opener Patrick Yates (45) and Thomas Price (56) were the stars of Harlow’s innings against an attack led by Bedford, who claimed 7-54 from his 14 overs, four of which were maidens.

Lloyd Lambert (41) and Gray (31no) were Basildon’s mainstays, with Danny Gray (23), Phillip Tooke (21) andMuhammadAli (20) also contributing. But Ronnie Yates took 5-34 to end Basildon’s reply after 41.5 overs.

Leaders Stanford le Hope enjoyed a five-wicket win over visitors Oakfield Parkonians.

Parkswere bowled out for 131 in 36.1 overs before Stanford posted a winning 135-5 in 28.5 overs.

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