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2017 Season Review - September

3 weeks ago By Paul Middlemiss

1st XI Relegated Back To Division One, But Title Glory For 4th XI

After a difficult season the 1st XI's relegation from the Premier Division was confirmed after defeat to Wanstead in their final home game of the season, but the side showed enough fight and ability in defeat to suggest they will be back in the not to distant future. John Curtis, Julian Whetstone and Alex Kirkpatrick reduced the league leaders to 85-5 but half centuries from Joe Ellis-Grewal, of the Chairman's Choice, and Adan Akram helped the visitors to post 245-7. Upminster crumbled to 65-7 in reply but Alan Ison and Farid Butt led the fightback and took Upminster to 145 before Aron Nijjar and Ellis-Grewal (6-74) bowled them out for 171.

The final game of the season saw the weather ruin the local derby against Hornchurch at Harrow Lodge Park. The home side had reached 128-5 after a delayed start before another shower ended the season for both sides, and saw Upminster end the year at the bottom of the Premier Division.

The 2nd XI still had hopes of a top two finish as the season entered September, and when Nicky Ison and skipper Ollie Peck picked up four wickets each to bowl out Wanstead (currently sitting in second place) for 181 that possibility remained. However, no batsman made more than 22 in the Upminster reply and they were bowled out for 132 to slip to a 49 run defeat. Peck's side were also defeated on the final day, in a topsy turvy affair against Loughton at Upminster Park. Nathan Woods and Harry Jenkins were in the runs as the home side declared on 183-3...............after just 19 overs. Loughton lost early wickets in reply but with eight home bowlers used the visitors scrambled to a two wicket win. The defeat didn't stop the 2nd XI claiming a third place finish.

Rob White's 3rd XI picked up a win over Harlow on week 17, in a low scoring thriller at Coopers School. White picked up three wickets, as did Ellis Pickering, as Harlow were skittled out for just 71, before the home slumped to 41-5 in reply!! White and the evergreen Rob Mack steadied the ship however, and saw Upminster to a five wicket win. Their final game of the season, against Shenfield, was washed out and White's side finished the season in an excellent fourth position.

Josh Lamont's 4th XI knew their destiny was in their own hands as the season entered the final two weeks. The experience of Rob Bannister and the Limn Brothers, Steve and Ant, helped them to 221-8 at Harlow, and although the home side hung on for a draw at 168-9 it meant Upminster went into their final game needing just four points to seal the Division Two title. They won the toss and decided to bat at Old Southendians and it was fitting that the captain and vice captain were at the crease as the points needed for the championship were sealed. Lamont went on to make 68 in a total of 210 before Tom Larke picked up 6-30 to spin out the Old Boys for 105 and finish the season in style.

The 5th XI's final home game of the season ended in heavy defeat to Fives and Heronians, despite a fine 50 from Nigel Occleshaw, but they did finish in style with a five wicket win over Brentwood on the final day. Aalok Latey took 5-27 as Brentwood were bowled out for 104, and although Upminster looked in trouble in reply Rafe Smallman made an assured 48 to see his side home. It left the 5th XI in a respectable 5th place finish.

The 6th XI ended an excellent season with two defeats. At Oakfield Parkonians they looked set for victory after dismissing the home side for 103, but they then slumped to 28 all out, with only Max Gordon making double figures. Their batting was found wanting the following week as well as they were dismissed for 89 at Harlow Town, and despite four wickets from Brian Martin they fell to a two wicket defeat and ended the season in 7th place.

The final action of the season saw the Benefit Match with Essex affected by the weather. Essex made 205-8 with Aron Nijjar making 53 before Conor Whetstone and Frankie Hazle kept Upminster in the hunt for victory. John Curtis needed three from the final ball, bowled by Upminster U9 captain Ross Taylor, but could only manage two as the game ended in a tie.

TEAM PERFORMANCE OF THE MONTH: The Saturday 4th XI wrapped up the title in style with an excellent all round performance at Old Southendians 3rd XI on the final day of the season.

INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE OF THE MONTH: Tom Larke claims 6-30 in the same game to spin out the Old Boys.

Updated 19:51 - 22 Nov 2017 by Kevin Roome

Where next?

League Cup and T20 Draws Announced Tough draws for 1st XI In Both Competitions
Indoor Sides Hit Rich Vein Of Form Senior side topple leaders while colts sides also impress

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