Six of the best

First published in Sport

THE final round of matches in the premier division of the six-a-side Southend indoor competition saw Hadleigh & Thundersley clinch the title for a sixth year in a row following victory in a tense game against Rayleigh.

Hadleigh looked to be in trouble when their score stood at only 36 for 3 wickets after eight of their 12 overs, but Tim Lowes (34 n/o) and Adam Dobson (23 n/o) rallied the innings and managed to take the final score to 87-3.

Jason Ox (25) and Ian Bryant (20) appeared to be edging Rayleigh towards their target before seam bowler David Williams took two quick wickets on his way to finishing with 3-13.

Rayleigh’s innings collapsed when they lost two wickets to run outs off successive balls and were all out at 79-6 to give Hadleigh the win they needed.

Hadleigh & Thundersley’s B side have also won this year’s division one title even though they still have a game left to play.

Southend-on-Sea and Echo Monarch Trojans (SOSEMT) turned in a fine batting display against Rankins in what was effectively a play off for second place in the premier division.

Ross Daynes (41 n/o), Wayne Spear (35) and Tom Kenton (23 n/o) helped SOSEMT register an impressive 144-4 in a game reduced to 11 overs a side.

Rankins made a poor start to their innings in the face of good bowling from Kenton (2-21) and wickets were lost as they fell behind the required run rate.

But then Warren mounted a brilliant one-man rearguard action as he blasted four sixes in one over.

He proceeded to make an outstanding score of 76 before he was last out at 119-6 to leave SOSEMT the winners by 25 runs.

But Warren’s efforts meant Rankins – who finished bottom of the league last year – secured enough bonus points to enable them to finish second in the league, just one point above SOSEMT.

Eastwood gave a good batting performance in their last game of the season and scored 131-5 against Rayleigh, thanks to batsmen James Sandford (44 n/o), Henry Morrant (35) and Cameron Hill (25). But skipper Ian Bryant (31n/o), John Wall (25n/o) and Chris Frost (25n/o) helped Rayleigh to chase down the target and they finished at 132-2 for a four wicket victory that condemned Eastwood to finish bottom.

In division one, Spartans, who represent Southend Police, made a whirlwind start with 22 runs off the first over against Bluehouse.

Britten was their best batsman with an attacking 53 but good bowling from Jack Scarff (3-14) saw Spartans collapse to 84 all out.

Skipper Duncan Baldwin and Simon Cooper got the Bluehouse innings off to a good start before they each retired on 25 n/o.

Gavin Blowes (18 n/o) carried on the good work to take Bluehouse to 85-0 and an emphatic six wicket victory which meant that they ended the season as runners up in division one.

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