Leigh-on-Sea win again against in-form Billericay

Echo: Billericay captain Stewart Rutland - powerless to stop his side losing Billericay captain Stewart Rutland - powerless to stop his side losing

DIVISION TWO

LEIGH made it back to back wins after recording a thrilling victory over rivals Billericay on Saturday.

Dean Waller’s side made the short trip to the Toby Howe Cricket Ground in confident mood, having picked up morale boosting wins in the past fortnight. And a terrific knock from Rob Catchpole (109) pushed them over the line.

Billericay batted first on a good pitch but struggled early on, falling to 20-3 in the early stages. However, a tremendous century from Paul Walter (106) and a solid knock from Daniel Harford (72) put the hosts back in charge.

In the end they made 230-9, with skipper Stewart Rutland believing his team fell about 20 runs short of the necessary total.

Echo:

Paul Walter - 106 runs for the Billericay batter

“It was a close run match,” said Rutland. “We fell a bit short and our top order didn’t hit the heights, which was frustrating.

“We bowled well, which kept us in with a shout but we are improving week on week which is encouraging.”

Rutland praised Leigh’s Catchpole for his innings.

“It was a great knock. He really took the game by the scruff of the neck and it took the game away from us at an important time.”

Leigh made 131-6 in their reply.

Elsewhere in the division, both Westcliff and Horndon’s search for a first win of the season goes on.

Westcliff played at Chalkwell Park against the high-flying Belhus, who sat in second place in the table and it seemed as though they were heading for a maiden success since their promotion last year.

However, their run chase was cut short, leaving Graham Cox’s side an agonising six runs from victory.

Belhus scored 262 runs in an impressive first innings, and after a woeful performance with the bat against Billericay recently, in which Westcliff only scored 75 runs, it seemed unlikely they would reach the target unless they put in a much-improved performance.

And that is exactly what happened. Westcliff lost their last batsman with 257 runs on the board. Sam Weller (69), Leon Sealy (55), Adam Pickering (47), Lewis Groves (34) all contributed to the Westcliff innings but a tremendous 120 from Belhus’ Joe Joyce and a hat-trick for Sanders, who ended with figures of 4-38.

Echo:

Winning captain - Dean Waller bowls for Leigh

Elsewhere, Horndon continued to struggle at the foot of the division.

They looked in trouble at 175-9 but their two tail-enders, Jack Marson (39) and Jack Walsh (29no), put a valiant final wicket stand together to add 64 runs to the total.

However, it was ultimately in vain as Gidea Park & Romford chased down the target in just over 48 overs.

Their opening five batsmen all contributed some good knocks, Sam Hewitt with a decent 45 runs, Rudi Filmalter (54), Mueez Qureshi (37), Jamal Francis (34) and Sarvesh Damle (31), to ensure they took the spoils.

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