With the outfield at Ardleigh Green being unfit for action, the 1st XI had to go straight into their League Cup contest on the 23rd April as they travelled to Woodford Green of Division 3 for their first round encounter. Shahbaz was straight into his stride as he struck a majestic 112 from 92 balls, and with runs also coming from opening partner Shafiq Rahman, skipper Alan Ison and youngster Louis Pickering, Upminster were able to reach 276-7 from their 45 overs. A rusty bowling display followed, but three wickets from Matt Tigg helped dismiss the home side for 222.
Back at Upminster Park the result was a little more clear cut. James Evans, Mark Schofield and Adam Quested were all in the runs as the home side amassed 262-5 in their friendly encounter. The Green reply never got going and four wickets from the captain, Nicky Ison, saw Green dismissed 98. (Photos)
The following Saturday saw four sides in action, but the star of the show was once again Shabhaz. He made 101 from 105 balls while the skipper continued his good start to the season with 87 as Upminster made 279-6 at Premier Division Ilford in the second round of the League Cup. Ilford were always up against it in reply, and Matt Tigg picked up three more wickets as Upminster caused a big upset.
The other three sides were all involved in friendlies. Max Carter Miller returned the best figures of the season at that point (5-50) as the 2nd XI pipped Ilford by 4 runs. The 3rd XI eased past Harold Wood with Janhoi Bean Wilson and Oliver White starring, and a youthful 5th XI cruised past Belhus with wickets for youngster Will Frost and runs for veterans Paul Middlemiss and Joe Wyatt.
Sunday saw a trip down memory lane as the Matchplay Finalists from 1996 took on a Guest and Club XI at Upminster Park (Photos). An even contest was eventually won by the Club and Guest XI, and then on Bank Holiday Monday the 1st XI put in an impressive performance in the National Cup to see off Cockfosters. Frankie Hazle and Terry Wyatt both made half centuries and Julian Whetstone picked up four wickets as Upminster progressed by 42 runs. (Photos)
League action finally began on 7th May, but it was not a good start for the 1st XI. Chasing 205 for victory Upminster made a poor start losing early wickets. Terry Wyatt and Connor Whetstone passed 50 in a gutsy recovery but they fell in quick succession, and Upminster were bowled out for 194. It was a very different story for the 2nd XI as they thrashed Wanstead at Upminster Park. Nicky Ison returned amazing figures of 8-37 as Wanstead were bundled out for 136, and while Upminster made a nervous start to their reply James Aggio-Brewe helped them get home by five wickets.
The 3rd XI, who only just maintained their Premier Division status at the end of the 2015 season, started their 2016 league campaign with a thrilling one wicket win over old friends Woodford Wells. Upminster appeared to be cruising towards their target of 184 but then lost five wickets for 15 runs and needed the calm head of Elliot Bussey to see them home by one wicket. There were no such problems for the 4th XI as four wickets for Karim Govani and runs for Kiran Kullar and Stewart Hammond saw them thrash local rivals Hornchurch. There were also impressive victories for the 5th and 6th XIs over Buckhurst Hill and Harlow Town respectively. Joe Wyatt, with a quickfire century, and Nathan Bright with five wickets were the heroes for the 5th XI while Ian Twine and Ansar Khan (six wickets on debut) were the star performers for the 6th XI.
Sunday saw the 1st XI exit the National Cup against Hornchurch despite a hundred from Julian Whetstone, while the 2nd XI fell to a friendly defeat against Oakfield Parkonians.
Week two of league action saw the 1st XI pick up their first win, against Hadleigh. Alan Ison was the star of the show with four wickets and an unbeaten 90 as Upminster cruised to a six wicket win. The 2nd XI were bought down to earth with a bump as they were well beaten by a strong Chelmsford side, but the 3rd XI continued their good form with a nine wicket win against Loughton, Bean-Wilson again in the runs.
Stewart Hammond made an unbeaten 87 not out for the 4th XI, and with Oliver White and George Sadek in the wickets they beat Harold Wood by 59 runs. There were plenty of runs at Campion School as the 5th XI drew with Loughton. Paul Middlemiss and Mike Harrison both made centuries as Upminster piled up 334-3. Tony Greywal made a century in reply though as Loughton batted out for the draw at 171-4. The 6th XI moved to the top of the early season standings without lifting a finger as Hutton conceded to hand Paul Scott's men 25 points.
Sunday 15th saw the start of the summer's T20 action as Upminster followed up Saturday's win with an easy win over the same opposition while a wonderful hundred from Arun Kullar helped the Sunday 2s to a win over Willesden Green.
The third week of the League season saw the 1st XI have the better of a draw with Southend at Southchurch Park. A third century of the season for Shahbaz and 66 from opening partner Shafiq Rahman helped Upminster to reach 282-6, and three wickets from Connor Whetstone helped restrict the home side to 204-8. A draw was also the result in the 2nd XI fixture between the same sides. In a low scoring encounter James Aggio-Brewe continued his consistent form with 44 but Upminster were dismissed for 168. An excellent bowling and fielding display then restricted Southend to 126-7.
Performance of the day went to the 3rd XI who overcame 2015 champions Chelmsford at Chelmer Park. Oliver Peck picked up 5-22 as the home side were dismissed for 119. Upminster stuttered in reply but 31 not out from veteran Rob Mack saw them to a three wicket success. The 4th XI fell to defeat against Chelmsford, their first loss of the season, despite a brilliant all round performance from Oliver White, while the 5th XI returned to winning ways at Oakfield Parkonians thanks to runs from Ansar Khan and a wonderful six wicket haul for Jamie Squance. The 6th XI remained unbeaten as they produced a solid performance to draw with Parkonians at Campion School.
Sunday the launch of the inaugural Windmill Whack as a large crowd came to Upminster Park to see the opening two matches. Game one saw the Govani Maestros prove too strong for the Apple Finance Firebirds before an exciting contest in game two saw the Costcutter Cobras squeeze home with eight balls to spare against the Root 66'ers. (Match Day 1 Photos)
The final Saturday of the month saw the 1st XI continue their good form with a comfortable win over Harold Wood in the local derby at Upminster Park. The spin twins of Tigg and Connor Whetstone picked up four wickets each before Frank Hazle made a half century as Upminster won by six wickets (Photos). Eight batsmen made double figures for the 2nd XI but they could not pass 200 as they closed on 192-8 at Colchester. Billy Wright produced his best spell of the season in the reply as Colchester were forced to block out for a draw.
The 3rd XI stayed top of the table after overcoming Brentwood. Andrew Berry rolled back the years to pick up six wickets before a wonderful 74 not out from U15 Alfie James saw Upminster to a three wicket win. There were three draws for the next three teams to finish the month. The 4th XI just held on with high flying Hainault as the experienced heads of Govani and Kevin Roome stood firm for the tenth wicket. The 5th XI were denied victory at Wanstead despite runs for Paul Middlemss and a three wicket burst from Will Frost, and the 6th XI could not cash in on 84 each from Sohail Iqbal and Jake Giddings as Hornchurch played out for the draw in their derby encounter.
The month finished with two defeats on the Sunday as the 1st XI were well beaten at Shenfield in the T20 Cup and the 2nd XI lost at Gorsebrook (in a 1st XI Sunday League fixture) despite 56 from Arun Kullar.
The 1st XI started June with a convincing win against Fives and Heronians. Veteran John Curtis took 5 wickets to help dismiss Fives for 161. In reply Shabhaz Butt continued his excellent form hitting 93 in a 5 wicket win.
The 2s played the closest match of the week as they fell to a 1 wicket defeat against Buckhurst Hill, runs for James Aggio-Brewe and Jordan Tigg setup a total of 198. Max Carter-Miller and Billy Wright both took 3 wickets to leave Hill 9 wickets down going into the final over of the match. Mark Quant who earlier took 4 wickets hit the winning boundary for a 1 wicket victory. The 3s fell one wicket short of victory against Hutton despite 4 wickets for Ollie Peck. The 4s were defeated by Buckhurst Hill despite Ollie White hitting a career best 49. Rob Bannisters 78 was the highlight of the 5s win agaisnt West Essex with spinner Nathan Bright was the pick of the bowlers with 4/23. The 6s had the best of a draw with Hornchurch scoring 212 with Paul Scott hitting 4 sixes in his 49.
On the 5th the 1s lost a low scoring Sunday league match against Buckhurst Hill, Ollie Peck took 3/23 as Hill were dismissed for 144. In reply only skipper Frankie Hazle (44) and Peck (42) made double figures in a 15 run defeat. Tom Daniels hit 68 for the 2s against Cranston park in a 50 run victory despite the efforts of Richard Wall (4/33 & 79*).
Midweek saw the first midweek Windmill Whack game with the Kalijeera Kings defeating the Chairmans Choice, Vidhyarthi Kantumuchbu starred for the Kings with the bat hitting 58 from 30 balls in a total of 169. Ant Limn took 3/8 as Chairmans choice were skittled out for 108
Rain played a part on the 11th June affecting a number of matches. The 1st XI travelled to Billericay and had Frankie Hazle (79) and Terry Wyatt (57) to thank after a early order collapse, with no other batsman in the top eight reaching double figures. Upminster were able to post 225 in 49.1 overs. A rain interruption meant that Billericay needed 185 off of 41 overs but Connor Whetstone once again shone with the ball taking 3-38 as the 1s won by 9 runs.
The 2s also won in their rain affected match at home to Chingford, Upminster scored 189 and the rain set Chingford 155 off 30 overs Tom Billinghurst provided the games winning moment with a bullet arm from the boundary to run out the Chingford No.11 to give Upminster their first win since week one. The 3rd XI defeated Shenfield by 45 to move second in the divsion. Jack O'Dowd made a half century with Bobby Mack also scoring 40. O'Dowd and Ollie White both took 3 wickets in victory. The 4th XI were defeated by Wanstead by 5 wickets, the 5s and 6s were both rained off with the 6s more grateful having been bowled out for 108. Rain also meant the Sunday league game vs Gidea Park & Romford was called off
18th June was a special day in the season with all 6 Saturday sides claiming victory. The 1s faced Loughton who scored 251/5 with Bilal Butt top scoring with 85. In reply 1s skipper Alan Ison led the way with 119. His wicket though with 12 required led to a few nerves but James Aggio-Brewe & John Curtis secured the win. The 2s won by 17 runs against Woodford Wells jack O'Dowd, Billy Wright and Nicky Ison all taking 3 wickets. The 3s skittled Woodford Wells for 105 with Rob White taking 4/33. Stew Hammond hit 41 not out in a 5 wicket win. Captain Steve Limn led the 4s to 222 against Colchester who were bowled out for 156 with Tom Daniels taking 3 wickets for just 1 run. Nathan Bright and Jamie Squance led the 5s to victory against Chingford both taking 3 wickets as Chingford were all out for 70. Paul Middlemiss (8*) and Joe Wyatt (56*) hit the runs in just 9 overs for a 10 wicket win. Sohail Iqbal hit a brilliant century for the 6s as they wrapped up the clean sweep chasing 237 against Harold Wood.
Sunday saw the latest round of Windmill Whack games, the Costcutter Cobras made it two wins in two after another impressive bowling performance reduced the Kalijeera Kings to just 124 in their 20 overs. John French hit 45 in the powerplay whilst Matt Tigg & Steve Limn saw the Cobras home with 2 balls to spare. The Root 66’ers won their first game of the tournament with a 6 wicket win over the Govani Maestros. The Maestros struggled and were thankful for 36 from Alex ward to score 131. Julian Whetstone followed up his 3 wickets with 30 and Nigel O’Dell rolled back the years with some glorious drives as he finished 29*.
Rain again played a large part on the 25th June with all Saturday games apart from the 1st XI abandoned. The 1s however made it 5 wins a row at Woodford Wells. Batting first Shahbaz Butt, Terry Wyatt, James Aggio-Brewe & Connor Whetstone all made 30+ in a total of 243 all out. The weather set Wells a Duckworth Lewis adjusted target but when Rain & Thunder finished the game off Upminster were ahead by 125 runs claiming the duckworth lewis win
Sunday saw the 1st XI play Chelmsford in a match that counted as the 3rd round of the league cup and their Sunday League match. Upminster were shot out for just 82 despite John Curits hitting 32*. Chelmsford chased the total for the loss of 2 wickets.
The 30th June saw a 40 run victory for the T20 side against Orsett and Thurrock
Having started the month at the top of Division One the 1st XI went on an amazing run through July as they took a huge step towards promotion back to the Premier Division. They began the month with a convincing win at Harlow. Harlow made 254-5 from their 50 overs, but chasing a reduced target (due to the weather) Upminster cruised to a seven wicket win with captain Alan Ison making a fine 64 not out. Shahbaz was in the runs a week later as he made 61 against Orsett, and with eight other batsmen making double figures, including a half century from Shaff Rahman, Upminster were able to pile up 279-8 at Upminster Park. Orsett were never in the game, and Connor Whetstone picked up three wickets as Upminster bowled out Orsett for 203 to avenge their opening day defeat.
The 16th July was a blip for the 1st XI as they suffered a narrow defeat at Hadleigh. Everything seemed to be going well as Hadleigh were bowled out for 149 with Whetstone and Matt Tigg picking up three wickets each. However, Upminster slumped from 63-1 to 110 all out and lost by 39 runs. Upminster bounced back a week later though with a crucial win over promotion chasing Southend. Julian Whetstone top scored with 48 and Upminster struggled to 181. It proved to be a good enough total though as John Curtis took 3-14 from 7 overs to help Upminster to a 55 run victory.
The 1st XI finished the month with a thrilling win in the local derby at Harold Wood. Shabhaz made 87 and Harry Jenkins made 57 not out as Upminster reached 226-7 on a difficult track at Harold Wood Park. The game looked done as Wood were reduced to 160-9. Wood skipper Richard Brabner had other ideas though as he began to thrash the Upminster bowlers to all parts. With support from Harry Thompson the deficit began to erode before Curtis returned to remove Brabner and Upminster won by 13 runs.
The 2nd XI began the month with a rain affected win at Ilford, mainly thanks to 79 from James Evans, but they slumped to defeat a week later at Wanstead. Max Carter Miller took four wickets during an impressive spell, but he couldn't stop Wanstead making 293-8 as a huge partnership between Bilal Patel and Matthew Smith took the game away from Upminster. Evans made a fine 98 in reply before unfortunately being run out as Upminster were dismissed for 212.
James Gerritse took four wickets on the 16th July as the 2nd XI took on Chelmsford, but Chelmsford made 247-7 and an understrength Upminster were then bowled out for 147. However, a fine all round performance at Southend a week later gave Upminster a much needed win. Nick O'Dell's 74 and 48 not out from the skipper Nicky Ison helped Upminster to 249-7. In reply Billy Wright claimed three wickets as Southend were restricted to 224-8 to to give Upminster the win. The month ended in defeat though, after a high scoring loss to Colchester. Colchester's 279-8 proved to much for Upminster who were bowled out for 254 in the penultimate over, despite half centuries from Rob Waghorn and Ollie Peck.
The 3rd XI began July with hopes of claiming their maiden Premier Division title, but two defeats in the first two weeks of the month put paid to those plans. At Wanstead an understrength Upminster were beaten by the league leaders by six wickets despite Waghorn's 50, and a week later at Woodford Wells despite four batsmen passing 30 Upminster couldn't chase down the home side's total of 315-8.
Pete Thompson and Mark Schofield were in the runs a week later as Upminster overcame Loughton at Coopers, but a poor batting display a week later against Chelmsford saw them slip to another defeat despite the bowling efforts of Arun Kullar and Mark D'Cruz. They did finish the month on a high though as Jordan Tigg made a wonderful 97 not out and D'Cruz picked up four more wickets in a 40 run win over Brentwood.
July was a struggle for the 4th XI and they began with a defeat against Southend. Jamie O'Dell's 75 enabled Upminster to reach a competitive 224-8 but Southend cruised to a five wicket win. O'Dell made 44 a week later, and Nathan Bright claimed three wickets, but the result was the same as they suffered another five wicket defeat, this time to local rivals Hornchurch.
A crucial game a week later saw Upminster face Harold Wood, but a poor performance saw them slip to a 76 run defeat, before a much improved performance a week later against Chelmsford. Tom Daniels picked up 4-54 as Chelmsford were bowled out for 241 and Paul Stratton then made 62 but Upminster were bowled out for 234 to slip to an agonising defeat. The month finished with defeat to Hainault despite another fine performance from Bright who picked up 3 more wickets.
The 5th XI started the month top of the table and began with a win over local rivals Shenfield. Ryan Brown picked up four wickets, and runs from Mark Hoptop helped them to a comfortable win. However, a week later they slipped to their first defeat of the season against Buckhurst Hill. Captain Alex Bottoms made 57 as Upminster made 227-5 but a fine innings from Daniel Scoulding piloted Hill to a narrow two wicket win. They bounced back a week later though with a crushing win over nine man Loughton. Scott Fisher and Alex Halliwell made fifties before Jamie Squance helped dismiss Loughton for just 25!!!
The following week saw high flying Oakfield Parkonians visit Campion in a top of the table clash. Things didn't go to plan for Upminster as they lost early wickets and needed 45 from Dave Brown to help lift them to a total of 144. Upminster struck early in the Parks reply but it was a false dawn as the visitors won by six wickets. The month finished in defeat as well as Wanstead overcame the 5s by five wickets, despite 56 from Paul Middlemiss.
The month started badly for the 6th XI as they were defeated by Harlow Town despite runs from Casey Adams. A week later and they looked set for a win and an early finish as Fives and Heronians were bundled out for just 88, Scott Fisher doing most of the damage. Astonishingly Upminster then slumped to 49-9 and despite a last wicket stand of 19 between Ian Twine and Alex Fisher, Upminster contrived to lose by 20 runs.
Lewis Baker claimed three wickets a week later as Hutton were restricted to 155, but again, Upminster's batting was found wanting as they were rolled out for 125. The following week though saw a much improved performance against high-flying Oakfield Parkonians. Parks made 213-4 but Casey Adams and Sohail Iqbal both passed 50 in reply and Upminster ended an exciting contest on 194-8. The batting woes returned a week later as Upminster ended the month with another loss, losing to Walthamstow by 25 runs having dismissed the Stow for 105.
July also saw the Sunday League side pick up two crucial wins in the Essex Sunday League as they overcame Bardoli and Waltham to climb out of the relegation zone. The highlight for the Sunday 2s was a thrilling tie with Little Baddow, thanks to runs from Nicky Ison and Julian Whetstone.
August started with the Apple Finance Firebirds claiming their first victory in the Windmill Whack against the Costcutter Cobras. Runs and wickets from Nicky Ison and Ollie Heazel led to a convincing 48 run victory.
Heazel followed this up by scoring 50 runs the next day as the Under 19s defeated Wickford by 80 runs in the Natwest Under 19 T20
The first league weekend of the month was a disappointment for all sides except for the 1st XI who continued their fine form by beating Fives by 5 wickets. John Curtis took 4/23 to dismiss Fives for 194 and Shabhaz hit 114 in reply to continue his fine form. The 2nd XI lost to Buckhurst Hill by 44 runs despite Heazel continuing his form with 80 runs and 2 wickets. Hutton 3s hit 255/6 at Coopers in reply the chase was always behind the rate despite 50 for Nikhil Mayor and a unbeaten 60 for Janhoi Bean-Wilson. with Hutton winning by 57 runs. The 4s ended up chasing 314 against Buckhurst Hill 3s and were reduced to 34/6 in reply, Steve Limn (47) and Tom Larke (54*) helped boost the total to 176. The 5th XI gained a draw against West Essex in a match with nearly 600 runs. Alex Halliwell took 3 wickets as West Essex racked up 303/3. In reply Alex Ward (65) and Haliwell (61) set about chasing the target down before quick wickets fell with the draw with Upminster 13 runs and West Essex 2 wickets short. Casey Adams and Kevin Roome top scored for the 6th XI in a disappointing 9 wicket defeat against Walthamstow 4s. The 1st XI won the Sunday league game against Harold Wood by 5 wickets, captain Billy Wright taking 4/11 and Connor Whetstone hit 56 not out.
August 13th saw disappointment for the 1st XI losing a thriller against Billericay. Shabhaz (54) and Julian Whetstone (43) got the total to 183 but Billericays top order were crusing at 120/0 & 174/3 before a late collapse with Connor Whetstone and Matthew Tigg taking three wickets each. It wasn’t quite close enough for Upminster despite the great fightback as Billericay sealed the victory in the final over. Robert White was the star of the show for the 2nd XI on Saturday as he recorded his first ever ton. Robert found great support in Junaid Sarwar (47) and Nicky Ison (44) as the two partnerships put on a combined 180 runs. Chingford were set 282 and were 230/3 but Mark Schofield and James Gerritse got Upminster back into the game with Gerritse bowling out the tail in the final over. The 3rd XI earned 25 points against Shenfield with centuries from Nikhil Mayor and Alfie James scoring 281. Shenfield were bowled out for jsut 38 in reply. The 4th XI held on for a hard fought draw against Wanstead. Rob Bannister picked up 4-40 in his 12 overs. The rock of the Upminster innings was Paul Stratton who hit 62* off 115 balls as Upminster finished on 181/8. Joe Simpson took his first ever five wicket haul against Ilford. Batting first, Upminster knocked up 246 in their 45 overs with contributions from Mark Hortop (49), Matt McCarthy (57) and Ansar Khan (55). After Joe Simpson tore apart the top order, Ross Milroy and Ryan Brown finished the job as Ilford were dismissed for 161. George Sadek scored his first ever half-century for the 6th XI. Sohail Iqbal picked up three wickets but it wasn’t enough as GPR chased the score down with 20 overs to go. The Sunday League side lost to Belhus despite Kiran Kullar hitting 65 in a total of 245. Joyce hit 122* to lead Belhus to victory.
August 20th was one of the highlights of the season as the 1st XI sealed promotion to the premier division after defeating Loughton by 151 runs. Shahbaz Butt hit a breath-taking 189 off 146 balls. The Upminster bowlers also starred as leg-spinner Connor Whetstone picked up 5-37 in a fantastic 14 over spell. John Curtis also took three wickets including the final wicket. The 2nd XI played out a draw against relegation threatened Woodford Wells. Upminster got off to a poor start with the first three batsman being dismissed with only 19 on the scoreboard. Matthew Jahanfar (54*) and Rob White (46) batted well to force a draw with Upminster finishing on 188/6. The 3rd XI scored 236 with Mark Schofield (76) Janhoi Bean-Wilson (40) and Peter Thompson (32) contributing. South Woodford were dismissed cheaply with Mark D'Cruz and Andrew Berry picking up wickets. The 4th XI relegation fears deepened with a 67 run defeat at Colchester. Rob Bannister took a 7 wicket haul to dismiss Colchester for 165, the batting failed to produce the goods as they were bowled out for 98 Steve Limn with 36*. Mark Hortop (75) hit his highest score of the season as he helped the 5th XI rack up 205. Upminster were unable to bowl out Chingford as they managed to bat out the 37 overs. Nathan Bright with 3 wickets with Daniels and Larke also grabbing a brace. The 6th XI resulted in them picking up 25 points on Saturday. Matt McCarthy hit his first ton with a blistering 142* and he found support from Ellis Pickering (32), Sohail Iqbal (57) and Dave Cowley (32). Ellis Pickering also starred with the ball as he ripped apart the top order with 4 wickets in 4 overs as Upminster bowled out Harold Wood for 76. Sunday saw the final Sunday league match against Great and Little Warley. Nathan Woods shone with the bat hitting 105 off just 66 balls helping to post 201. In reply Warley looked to be coasting to the total but Rob Waghorn (2/31) helped take it to a final over where Warley won dispatching the penultimate ball for 6 to win by 3 wickets.
In the last wekk in August the 4th XI gained a crucial victory in their battle to stay up. Nick O'Dell hit 104 not out in a 35 run victory over Billericay. O'Dell, Tom Larke and Karim govani all took 3 wickets as Billericay were bowled out for 176. The 1s were defeated by Woodford Wells by 1 wicket. The 2nd XI defeated Brentwood by 3 wickets with Mark Schofield hitting 51. The 3rd XI drew with Harlow just 7 runs short of the target but 8 wickets down. Alex Mitchells 55 helped ensure the draw. The 5s defeated Brentwood 4s thanks to 62 from Will Bottoms and 52* from Jamie Squance. The 6th XI lost to league winners Belhus by 6 wickets despite runs and wickets for Ben Calder.
The Under 19s lost their T20 quarterfinal in a low scoring match at Goresbrook. Goresbrook scored 91/7 off their 20 overs with Max Carter-Miller taking 3/10. In reply Upminster fell 8 runs short despite 27 not out from Connor Whetstone.
The final Sunday of August saw the Finals Day of the inaugural Windmill Whack take place at Upminster Park.
The first game of the day saw the CostCutter Cobras take on the The Root 66'ers for the right to take on the Chairman's Choice in the Grand Final. The Cobras won the toss and elected to field and it looked like a good choice as Mike Rath and Nick O'Dell fell cheaply. However, Julian Whetstone and Harry Jenkins combined in a crucial third wicket stand to take the game away from the Cobras. Whetstone reached the retirement mark of 50 but some late order hitting from Elliot Bussey meant the 66'ers reached 168-7.
The Cobras reply got off to the worst possible start as Andy Berry dismissed Shafiq Raham for a duck, and from that point on the Cobras were always up against it. Matt Tigg made a defiant 27, but when he fell to Whetstone his team's hopes went with him and they eventually finished on 129-8.
The Grand Final saw Chairman Ollie Peck win the toss and decide to bat, but things did not start well as Terry Wyatt fell cheaply. Shabaz was looking in fine form though and finding the boundary regularly, and he found an able partner in his captain. Shahbaz reached the retirement mark but Peck and John Curtis were savage on the bowling of Whetstone and Mark D'Cruz as the Choice moved towards a large total. Rob Bannister added a couple of late boundaries as the favourites closed on 198-7.
Rath and Whetstone made a cautious start in reply but after the sixth over Rath upped the pace with some clean hitting to the boundary. He fell for 46, well caught by Curtis off Bannister, but Whetstone found an ally in O'Dell and they stayed on top of the run rate. However, they both fell to Rob White and although Jenkins and Bussey ran hard between the wickets they could not find the boundary with any regularity and the 66'ers finished on 179-3 as the Choice claimed the trophy by 19 runs.
The final Saturday of the season turned into something of a damp squib. With nothing to play for the 1st XI travelled to Harlow where the home side made 239-9. In reply Will Chuter and Shahbaz were going nicely at 69-0 when the rain came to finish things early.
Back at Upminster Park Nicky Ison's final game in charge of the 2nd XI also ended in a washout. Visitors Ilford piled up 274 from their 50 overs and Upminster were 74-3 when the rain came. Meanwhile at Coopers Alfie James made a wonderful 129 against champions Wanstead as Upminster made 256-4 before declaring early. With Wanstead reaching 130-3 the game looked set for an exciting finish when the covers came on and no further play took place.
The only game of the day with anything riding on it was at Southend where the 4th XI took on the Seasiders in a winner takes all relegation decider........or so it seemed. Upminster were unsurprisingly asked to bat by opponents who started the day a handful of points above them and Alex Mitchell and Stewart Hammond patiently pushed Upminster towards a competitive total. Mitchell made 62 and Upminster declared on 163-4. In reply Southend just needed to avoid defeat but Karim Govani struck twice early on to reduce the home side to 0-2. Upminster struck again soon after but with rain bringing the players off twice and Southend knowing what they had to do they finished on 59-3 from 34 overs to send Upminster down.
The 5th and 6th XI ended positive seasons on a low note as they both fell to defeat, the 5s by seven wickets to Shenfield and the 6s by the same margin to Gidea Park.
Final League finishing positions can be seen at Upminster CC Essex League Record
The action wasn't finished there though, as an Essex CCC XI came to Upminster Park the following day for the Annual Benefit Match, this year in aid of the Essex Cricket Foundation. A large crowd was once again in attendance and a strong Essex side were asked to bat first by Harry Jenkins who was skippering the Upminster side.
Ravi Bopara and Paul Walter entertained the spectators with entertaining half centuries while Matt Tigg and Jenkins took spectacular catches to help Paul Statton and Louis Pickering to pick up wickets as Essex closed on 261-7. Skipper Jenkins batted nicely in reply and Tigg and Pickering showed some fight in the middle order but Upminster were bowled in the last over for 189. David Parish presented a cheque to the Essex players for the Essex Cricket Foundation and another great occasion came to a close.