BILLERICAY Cricket Club’s second team are in a two-horse-race for the Shepherd Neame League Second XI Division Two title having already secured promotion as their penultimate game at home to Leigh-on-Sea ended successfully.
The visitors were put into bat but failed to score at the necessary run rate to post a daunting total.
Leigh-on-Sea’s Mark Sexton top-scored with 81 not out but Billericay’s bowlers kept it tight as they restricted their opponents to 184-6.
The response was not the most straightforward route to victory as Billericay regularly lost wickets as batsmen got in and out.
However, Scott Noble’s steady 49 not out led to a triumph by three wickets.
Billericay’s third team had an eventful day away at Loughton as they attempted to keep their Division Three promotion hopes alive, only for the result became less significant as the game unfolded.
Loughton took the match to the visitors and a second wicket 100 partnership meant Billericay had a come back on their hands, although late wickets meant Loughton’s 246-8 was still just about obtainable.
However, the Loughton bowlers did not let up from the moment Billericay's batsmen stepped out.
A damaging blow to Nigel Staplehurst resulted in a bad cut above his eye and fractured eye socket, but his team mates took the fight to Loughton.
Shaun Gillion’s 67 not out and Steve Ash’s 60 brought Billericay within touching distance but Loughton came out on top by 43 runs to end thoughts of promotion for Billericay this season.
Similarly to the twos, the fours are aiming for the title having already gained promotion from Division Two.
Loughton opted to bat first at Billericay but only opener Avnish Jani who made 70 could cope with the quality of Billericay's bowling attack. Captain Harvey Moyne continued his good form this season as he managed figures of 6/46 from 15 overs, leading to Loughton's demise to 155 all out.
The reply was never in doubt as number three Louis Hawes recorded an impressive 50 and was supported valiantly in order to gain the Billericay the necessary win over their league rivals to take back top spot with just one game in the season remaining.
Canvey Island and Basildon Allstars set for finale
TWO of Basildon’s Last Man Standing cricket teams have the chance to qualify for the Regional and UK finals in an exciting finale to the season.
Canvey Island and Basildon Allstars have qualified for the finals of the league with the winners representing the area at the regional finals on Sunday, September 7.
Last Man Stands is a midweek, eight-a-side T20 cricket league played by more than 45,000 players around the world.
Supported by the ECB, the Last Man Stands competition began in Basildon in June with teams taking part in midweek matches at the Basildon Sporting Village.
Following some exciting matches and close finishes the season is approaching its climax and with five wins to their name Canvey Island guaranteed first place in the final to play Basildon All Stars.
In what should be a closely fought final, the Canvey Island team will be hoping for league number one batsmen Mark Stratton’s form to continue as some impressive recent scores have taken his team to victory.
They will also be looking to bowler Cassum Tiffin to lead from the front, he has taken 10 wickets in only four matches including a spell of 4-3 versus the Basildon Allstars in earlier games.
The successful team at the league finals will progress to the regional finals day to compete against the Champions from Havering, Colchester, Guildford, Southampton, East Sussex and West Sussex.
Victory at the regional finals will secure a spot at the UK Championship weekend, September 20th/21st, and the chance to win £5000 towards the cricketing trip of a lifetime, the LMS World Championships in Barbados, March 2015.
l If you would like to take part in the competition next season, visit www.lastmanstands.com/playcricketessex or contact Steve Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org