After some much improved performances last weekend, Ollie Peck’s 1st XI will travel to Southend looking for their first league win of the season on Saturday. Peck’s side enjoyed cup success on two fronts last weekend, although they were eventually dumped out of the Essex League T20 by Harold Wood, and also put in a better performance to draw with Loughton on Saturday. A number of players found some form over the three days to, with Shahbaz Butt, Louis Pickering, Ollie Peck, Harry Jenkins and Tom Daniels all putting in excellent performances. Southend are also without a SNEL win to date, but do include Joe Robbins and Scott Simmons in their line up, so Upminster will be expecting a tough afternoon at Southchurch Park.
The 2nd XI are also without a win so far, but they are unbeaten in their three games, as they welcome Maz Malik's Ilford to Upminster Park for an important Premier Division clash. Ilford are also without a league win so far, and they fell to a five wicket defeat at Shenfield last time out. Upminster have picked up three draws to date and put in an excellent performance last week at Wanstead, only to fall just short as they could not pick up the last two wickets. A number of batsmen have moved into good form over the last two weeks, and with James Evans returning to the side they will be hopeful of putting enough runs on the board to be able to claim that illusive win.
Hornchurch will visit Coopers on Saturday for a local derby in the 3rd XI Premier Division. Both sides have made good starts to the season and currently sit in the top four. Upminster picked up an opening day win over Harold Wood and have then just missed out on wins over Woodford Wells and Brentwood, but have picked up a good collection of points in the process. Hornchurch have picked up two wins, including a comfortable victory against Harlow last week, and sit just a point behind Upminster in the table. The division looks like being a tight one this season, so even at this early stage this contest looks like being a crucial one.
Captain Stewart Hammond will be looking for an improvement from his middle order as the 4th XI visit Billericay 3s. Hammond’s men claimed victory over Frenford on the opening day, but have since fallen to two defeats, against Old Southendians and Hutton. Billericay were close to promotion last season but have not yet recorded a victory in 2019, so a tight contest looks in prospect.
The 5th XI were without a league contest last week, but picked up a win over Oakfield Parkonians in a friendly. They will face a stiff test tomorrow when they welcome Brentwood to Campion School. Alex Bottom’s team have one victory so far, and sit just below Brentwood in the table. Brentwood have two wins so far including a thrilling 17 run win over Buckhurst Hill last time out.
There are two senior fixtures on Sunday. The Sunday League side travel to Benfleet looking for their second win of the season, while Dave Brown’s Friendly XI make the trip to Bentley looking to make it six wins from six for the season.
Updated 08:50 - 3 Jun 2019 by Paul Middlemiss