CRICKET: Leigh on Sea skipper James Spencer is pleased with his side’s start to the Essex League Division Three season.

Leigh are fourth in the standings after winning two of their opening four fixtures.

And Spencer is happy with the way things have gone so far.

“Barring the West Essex game which we gave away I feel it’s been a strong start,” said Spencer.

“We’ve had two convincing wins and the atmosphere in the changing room is phenomenal.

“It’s far better than it has been in recent years and that was the first thing I made sure was looked at when taking on the captaincy.”

Leigh’s spirit was on show again on Saturday as they beat Hornchurch by five wickets in a high scoring clash.

Spencer played a huge part in the victory as he scored a brilliant 119 from 127 balls.

And he was delighted with all aspects of his side’s display.

“On what was a lovely deck our opening bowlers bowled extremely well to get Hornchurch Athletic to 39-4, especially Tim Knox with three wickets for very little,” said Spencer.

“They put on a great fifth wicket partnership worth over 100 however to restrict their total to 207 we definitely felt we were on top.

“Batting wise it was amazing for Jon Edwards and I to get our first 100 opening partnership and personally for me to get my first century to bring the team to our second victory of the four games so far.”

Leigh will now be looking to build on that victory.

But they face a tough looking test against table-topping Stanford le Hope this weekend.

“This weekend is huge,” said Spencer.

“Stanford, who have gone four from four, is an amazing test to see where we are compared to the best so far.

“I definitely believe we can take maximum points from them if we play the way I know we can.”

Victory would take Leigh closer to the promotion places.

And Spencer is sure his side have what it takes to stay in the top half of the Division Three table.

“Obviously top two is a dream and with the talent we have in the team it could very well happen,” said Spencer.

“However a strong top four or five finish would be an amazing year for new look Leigh on Sea CC.”

Elsewhere in Division Three this weekend, seventh placed Benfleet head to third placed West Essex while Wickford, who are ninth, host sixth placed Harlow