HORNDON-ON-THE-HILL won their first game of the season in resounding fashion, beating on-aroll Leigh-on-Sea by 132 runs.
Leigh came into the match in imperious form, having won four on the trot, but failed to hit the heights against a rejuvenated Horndon team, who impressed with both the bat and the ball.
The rain held off for the home side to reach 222 in 49 overs, which was an excellent score for a side that has struggled to produce consistent performances at the crease.
However, Leigh have overturned some big scores in previous weeks and captain Dean Waller had said he was confident of surpassing high first innings scores.
This proved not to be the case on Saturday though as he watched his side capitulate, making only 90 runs in 26 overs before losing the match – Stuart Elliott the only man to make it into double figures (25).
Waller, who had scored backto- back centuries in the previous two weeks, said his team never showed up and deserved to lose.
“They were better in every department,” admitted Waller.
“We didn’t bat at all well which is baffling as we have been excellent in the past four weeks.
“I am not going to condemn the boys though as four in five is excellent form and we have to show this was a one-off with a win against Orsett next weekend.”
Horndon take a maximum 25 points from their victory and the win pushes them closer to the chasing pack, although the closest sides above them (Gidea Park & Romford and Fives & Heronians) also won this weekend.
Westcliff-on-Sea are now the only winless side in the division and look resigned to an immediate return to Division Three unless their form improves in the coming weeks.
Graham Cox’s side lost to Fives in a high scoring match. Put into bat first, Westcliff started well, although Lewis Groves was the onlyman who scored more than 20 runs (64).
Eight other batsmen contributed between ten and 20 runs in an innings that failed to produce a meaningful partnership.
However their total of 222 from 48 overs was not an easy target, on paper, to overturn.
Fives, a side that have struggled in recent weeks, produced one of their best batting performances of the season and passed the target in, astonishingly, only 26 overs.
Westcliff could not have got off to a better start with Adam Pickering claiming opening batsmen Gary Edwards for one.
But then Terry Ballard (83) and Mick Perry (51) steadied the innings before running out easy winners.
Billericay lost more ground in the chase for the top places after a batting collapse against highflying Belhus.
Stewart Rutland won the toss and chose to bowl and they looked odds on to claim the win when they bowled out their opponents for only 133 in 45 overs, on a slow pitch.
This was not the case though and Billericay, who have struggled with the bat consistently this season, again failed to impress, reaching only 100 in 32 overs.