BILLERICAY claimed another unlikely win thanks to a fantastic bowling display after their batting order collapsed for a measly 104.

The tight affair saw them defeat Gidea Park & Romford by only six runs although this looked unlikely when they stepped back onto the field to bowl.

Away captain Stewart Rutland lost the toss and his side was put into bat and, after being dismissed for 104 off only 23 overs, he can’t have been hopeful of a win – Rudi Filmalter claiming six Billericay wickets.

However, a poor batting performance once again saw them edge to victory after an excellent display with the ball.

Rutland said he wasn’t sure what was going wrong with the batting.

“I don’t really know what to say about it,” said Rutland, who top scored with 27. “The less said the better in all honesty. There were a number of soft dismissals and, unlike against Westcliff last week, there was nothing questionable with any of the umpires decisions.

“It is a bit disappointing after a poor batting performance last week but I am not one to get wound up and I was pleased with the reaction. The bowlers did supremely well and if we are winning when we are playing poorly that is a good omen for future weeks.”

Greg Hammond had the best bowling figures for Billericay – claiming five wickets for only 41 runs. At 93-7 the home side only needed 11 runs to win but they couldn’t get over the line – falling for 98.

Leigh returned to winning ways with a barnstorming win against West Essex.

After a run of two straight defeats, Leigh were anxious to get back to winning ways and they did so in style – beating their opponents by a whopping 164 runs.

Half centuries by Iain McDonald (66), Joe Sexton (67) and stand-in captain Rob Catchpole (59) saw them reach 289-4 from their 50 overs, having been put into bat first by West Essex.

West Essex didn’t start well – and were 12-2 after a quick double wicket haul from Rob Elliott (who finished with figures of 4-62) and things didn’t improve, with Patrick Groves also impressing with the ball (4-40). Leigh skittled their opponents for only 125 runs in 20 overs.

Elsewhere Horndon came within three runs of securing their first win of the season in an enthralling contest at Fives & Heronians.

Horndon put the home side into bat first and restricted them to 263 runs from their 50 overs but, despite the target being reachable, Horndon came up agonizingly short.

A dreadful start saw Horndon three wickets down with only eight runs on the board but their innings was settled by a tremendous innings from captain Jeff West. He saw the rest of his team-mates fall until he was left at the crease with final batsman Jack Marson. It looked like West would be leading them to victory but he was dismissed off the bowling of Rizwam Akram with only one over remaining.

Westcliff lost yet again as their search for a first win since promotion goes on.

They travelled to table-topping Hornchurch and were humbled – losing by 302 runs.

Hornchurch scored an impressive 474 from their 50 overs after centuries from Roy Smith (109) and Chris Sains (172) and it became clear Westcliff were not going to reach that target after a slow run-rate. Peter Barnes (53) and Adam Pickering (41) were the pick of the Westcliff batsmen but they were all out for 172.