BILLERICAY gave their promotion push a massive boost after a comprehensive win at rivals Leigh-on-Sea, in turn ending their hopes of going up.
Both sides came into the game knowing defeat would see their efforts to secure promotion futile, with only one game left this season.
And it will be Billericay who head into a decider against Gidea Park & Romford, knowing they will go up if Orsett and Belhus, who play off against each other, draw or if Billericay take 25 points and their opponents slip up.
Stewart Rutland’s side won the toss and started strongly, with Stuart Hynes the pick of the batsmen. Hynes smashed 105 and received support throughout his innings. Rutland (23), David Hinngan (65) and Paul Walter (59) played impressively with the visitors eventually declaring on 282-5.
Billy King’s 2-23 were the best bowling figures for the hosts.
In response, Dean Waller watched his side build a steady opening partnership – Stuart Elliott (34) and Al Lawrence (23) playing nicely for a 50 partnership but Harry Slack then went for a duck, leaving Leigh at 57-2.
Skipper Waller (25) and King (41) came in to edge Leigh over 100 but Leigh couldn’t match Hynes fantastic century, with only Joe Sexton (35) adding any meani-ngful runs.
Greg Hammond (3-51) and Paul Walter (4-54) were the pick of the bowlers.
Leigh were all out for 199, and Rutland said he is delighted at his side’s tenacity in recent weeks.
“This past month we have been very good. We have given ourselves a chance which is as much as I could have asked.
“It has been a very competitive league this year and that has been good for us. We have had to be on the top of our game as everyone can beat everyone at the top.
“We will go into next week’s game with confidence and I hope it pays off for us.”
Horndon-on-the-Hill secured their division two status for another season after a win at relegation rivals Gidea Park & Romford.
The Thurrock side were set a target of 202 to win and they did so with 10 overs left on the board.
Mike Canavon (22) and Connor Hammond (39) started well for the away side but Canavon was run out just as he was building up ahead of steam.
But Usman Jan (66), and healthy contributions of 16, 13 and 21 saw them over the line.
Westcliff-on-Sea face an entire season without a win after being crushed by Belhus. The Thurrock side were put into bat first and hit 233-8 before declaring, although they could have declared much sooner.
Graham Cox’s side never looked like challenging the total and were all out for 67 runs.