JOE Sexton admits Leigh failed to read the conditions as they were humbled by Oakfield Parkonians in Shepherd Neame Essex League Division Two.

Leigh were beaten by seven wickets having elected to bat. Off to a poor start at 17/2, the dangerous Jon Edwards was bowled for two after hitting a century the previous weekend.

Sexton’s 36 and an unbeaten 54 from number eight Iain McDonald saw Leigh close on 202 inside 44 overs.

And although Leigh took the early wicket of Vikram Handa, the efforts of Dhruv Patel (57) and Ubaid Ur Rahman Kiani (99 not out) saw Old Parks across the line for the loss of just three wickets in 32.4 overs.

Sexton took two wickets, albeit for 73 runs in his nine overs, and he said the day promised more.

“We thought we were about 50 runs short,” he said. “We looked at the pitch and it looked a belter but it didn’t play like it. We tried to play our game on it but we couldn’t.

“They know how to play it but our bowling attack is good. On the day, we couldn’t put it in the right areas. I conceded 70 off nine overs, which isn’t good enough, and we didn’t read the conditions well enough.”

Wickford continue to struggle for consistency as they remain fourth from bottom following defeat to leaders Loughton.

It was a close run thing as Wickford came within 20 runs of the total.

Loughton chose to bat but failed to build any meaningful partnership until near the end of the innings, as the final three wickets were worth 68 of Loughton’s 199 runs.

Andy Baker took 4-26 and Connor Etchells 3-32.

Wickford lost Huzuaifi Umer for a four ball duck, with Jack Cubitt (two) and Dale Kinsey (nought) also going cheaply.

Chris Westwood (50) and Etchells (47 not out) impressed, but Baker (17) and Ewan Thomas (nought) couldn’t support Etchells at the close.

“We were a little bit unlucky,” said Baker. “We bowled and fielded well and although they got off to a great start, we reined them in and kept them to a very reachable total.

“But we didn’t perform well enough with the bat and we didn’t have enough to get over the line.

“If I had hung around with Connor at the end then I think we could have nicked it, but it wasn’t to be.”

Old Southendian & Southchurch were beaten by 85 runs against Fives & Heronians.

Lakshan Rodrigo (88) and Usman Jan (69) helped Fives to 300 in their innings and the Old Boys couldn’t get near the total despite a promising start.

Dan Baines (46) and Sandeep Muraleedharan (52 not out) top scored.