SOUTHEND & EMT saw off Wickford by 102 runs in an important Division One clash at Southchurch Park on Saturday.
The two teams went into the game locked level on points.
But it was Southend who came out on top, much to the delight of their skipper Joe Robbins.
“It was a great win for us especially as we batted first and that’s something we’ve struggled to do well this year,” said Robbins.
“The pitch was damp and hard to get in on, but credit must also go to Wickford’s bowlers because they didn’t allow us to really get going at all.
“Ross Daynes and Oliver Wagstaff batted really sensibly and having wickets in hand meant we could get 80 off the last 10 overs.
“We then bowled and fielded really well as a team, taking our catches and John Horne ended up with five wickets.
“That made it 11 for him against Wickford this season and that’s a brilliant effort.”
Southend’s win pushed them up to sixth in the standings and came after they scored 197/7 in their innings.
Opening batsman Ross Daynes top scored with 65 while Wagstaff added 45 and Robbins 40.
Wickford skipper Andy Baker with 4-45 was the pick of his side’s bowlers before the visitors were bowled out for just 95.
Darren Robinson top scored with 30 but Baker was the second highest with 19 and just three players managed more than six runs.
Horne took centre stage with the ball for Southend, taking 5-48 to help the home-side triumph.
Wickford’s defeat left them eighth in the standings, just five points above the relegation zone.
At the other end of the table, second placed Hadleigh & Thundersley were also left disappointed after suffering a four wicket defeat against Harlow.
Hadleigh made 275/6 in their innings before Harlow passed that target for the loss of six wickets.
And that left bowler David Williams incredibly frustrated at the close of play.
“It was a disappointing result and I think losing the toss was pretty crucial to be honest,” said Williams.
“We can’t blame it just on the toss or how flat their pitch was but it just got easier and easier to bat on.
“Their opening batsman batted really well, targeting a short boundary and I don’t think he gave us a chance, hitting 100 off 60 balls.
“He pretty much won them the game. “Our next game now becomes crucial and we need to perform and pick up maximum points.”
Hadleigh’s skipper Adam Soilleux scored 65 for his side while Austin Holmes hit 51, Kellon Carmichael 46 and Max Holmes 45.
Carmichael then took 3-70 but Harlow still came out on top to cut Hadleigh’s lead over third placed Buckhurst Hill to just five points.