HADLEIGH & Thundersley saw off Southend & EMT by three wickets in an entertaining clash at Burrows Park on Saturday.
In a game which saw a number of former Hadleigh players lining up for Southend it was the home side who came out on top to move up to second in the Division One table.
But Hadleigh bowler David Williams said the victory was anything but easy.
“It was a tough game to be honest and there wasn’t really a lot between the two sides,” said Williams.
“We bowled and fielded well again. Adam Soilleux picked up four wickets and we bowled them out for 166 which I think we were a little bit disappointed with as we felt we let them get away with 20-30 more than what they should have done.”
“We were confident of chasing it down. But at something like 100-5 we needed a couple of batsmen to really grind out the result and that’s what Tim Lowes and Adam Dobson did.
“But there is real competition for places now and our confidence is really high too.”
Southend opted to bat first after winning the toss and were bowled out for 166, with opening batsman Oliver Wagstaff top scoring with 39 against his former side.
Wayne Spear chipped in with 33 while Hadleigh skipper Adam Soilleux was the pick of the bowlers, taking four wickets for 42 runs.
In reply, Hadleigh reached the required total for the loss of seven wickets with Dobson top scoring with 30.
Matt Wagstaff was Southend’s best bowler with 3-37 but their skipper Joe Robbins was left feeling frustrated at the end of the game.
“It was an excellent game of cricket but on the day we were beaten by the better and probably smarter side,” said Robbins.
“Not batting our overs was criminal and if we batted our extra 10 and scored 40 more runs it would have given us a much better chance.
“Although we had them seven wickets down, 166 just wasn’t enough, especially after a positive start.
“We had three or four starts but no one has gone on for a big score.
“Hopefully we can fix these little issues next week when we travel to table toppers Colchester for what will be another extremely tough game.”
It was also a disappointing day for second from bottom Wickford as they were beaten by 67 runs against Hainault & Clayhall.
Hainault made 244 in their innings with Chirag Desai the best Wickford bowler with 6-45.
In reply, Wickford were bowled out for 177 with Jonathan Pratt top scoring with 67 not out.