SOUTHEND & EMT skipper Scott Simmons felt his side fully deserved their first Division One victory of the season.

Southend beat Upminster by nine wickets at Southchurch Park.

And Simmons was full of praise for the performance.

“The lads really deserved to get the win,” said Simmons.

“They have worked hard with no real success so this will really help our confidence.

“I’m over the moon for them all and everybody did their job.

“The fielders backed the bowlers in the field, making it hard for Upminster to get a grip on the game.

“The batting unit clicked beautifully too. They batted as if under no pressure at all and it was a joy to watch.”

Upminster batted first and made 234/9.

Joe Robbins was the pick of Southend’s bowlers as he took five wickets for 71 runs before his side impressed with the bat.

Carl Lees top scored with 87 while Numan Khan, with 79 not out, and Phil Gray, with 43 not out, also played a key part in securing a win Simmons felt was achieved because of the team spirit.

“As a group we get on really well and that shows as we are enjoying our cricket each week,” said Simmons.

“The win on Saturday will just help to further improve that and there are only so many losses you can take before you start doubting yourself and each other so this win comes at a great time.

“The important factor going forward now is availability to enable us to keep pushing forward and competing in every game.

“Whoever is playing the plans are simple, do the basics right, play with a smile on your face and the rest will take care of itself.”

In the Premier Division, Hadleigh & Thundersley were beaten by 57 runs against Chingford to go bottom of the league.

Chingford made 247/9 with Misem Ali Syed Zaidi taking 3-39 and Sam Handley 3-39.

But, despite 59 from Antonio Greenidge, Hadleigh were bowled out for 190, much to the frustration of captain Adam Dobson.

“It was an all round frustrating day,” said Dobson.

“Unfortunately, we underperformed both with the bat and in the field which ultimately cost us the game.

“It was very frustrating. I thought our bowlers bowled very well, in particular Sam Handley and Misem Zaidi, but we didn’t back them up well enough with our fielding. A few too many errors gave Chingford more runs than they should have got. We made a reasonable start with the chase but it was frustrating to collapse the way we did and fall short.”

It was also a bad day for Billericay who suffered their first defeat of the season, losing by 198 runs against Wanstead & Snaresbrook.

Wanstead made 325/4 in their innings before Billericay were bowled out for 127.

Ross Poulton top scored with 42 but skipper Lee Knight was a frustrated figure at the close of play.

“We weren’t at our best on Saturday,” said Knight.

“We were uncharacteristically sloppy in the field and dropped a few catches which, against class batsmen, you can’t afford to do.

“Wanstead took advantage and 320 was obviously a good score.

“Our reply suffered a couple of early setbacks due to a couple of decisions which went against us, that’s part and parcel of cricket unfortunately but it’s not ideal when you are chasing a big total.

“It summed up our day really but take nothing away from our opposition.”