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Paul Middlemiss25 Mar - 14:51
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Memorable end to indoor season sets things up nicely for summer ahead

Eight Upminster sides were lined up to take part in six finals at the Havering Indoor League Finals Weekend, and six trophies were duly picked up over two days of action!!!

The first of those six finals was on Saturday afternoon, with a guaranteed Upminster winner, as the Inferno took on the Flash in an all RM14 affair for the U13 Cup Final. Finley Tolan, Dylan Narbheram and Lewis Mun were in the runs for the Inferno as they made an impressive 124-3 from their 12 overs. Flash started solidly in reply, but Inferno turned the screw with some tight bowling and fielding, and Flash ended on 84-4, meaning the Inferno completed the “double” having claimed the league title back in February. While it was a disappointment for Flash, they did have the consolation of having secured the Central League U12s title two weeks ago.

Ewan Lowrie was the all-round hero as the Blaze picked up the U15 Plate with a tense win over Orsett and Thurrock. Harry Fogg and Hayden Westerman were in the runs for Orsett but when they both retired Upminster foughtback, with Lowrie and Ollie Dignam amongst the wickets. Orsett still posted a challenging 92-3 from their 12 overs, and when the Blaze fell to 38-3 and 59-4 it looked like that total would be enough. Lowrie had other ideas though, finding the back wall four times as he made 37 not out and took his side to a two wicket win with 10 balls to spare.

There was another close finish in the U15 Cup Final, as Tsunami squeezed home against neighbours Hornchurch in a thrilling contest. Joseph Ross made 26 not out for Hornchurch, but Sophie Burley’s 1-10 helped to keep Upminster in the game, with Hornchurch ending on 103-4. Ollie Hinton’s dash from the hockey pitch adjacent to the Coopers Sports Hall proved worthwhile as he made 25 not out in the Upminster reply, before captain Aedan Daly held his nerve to see his side home with just two balls to spare, meaning Upminster ended day one on a high.

Day two began with the Storm taking on Orsett and Thurrock in the U9 Cup Final, and they made up for narrowly missing out on the league title by claiming the cup in style. Orsett batted first in the terriers format contest, and they looked set for a big total until Elliott Peck picked up three wickets during the final pair’s innings to leave Orsett on a net score of 236 (71-7). This looked like it may still prove to be a challenging total, but the six Upminster batters went through the entire innings without losing a wicket to claim a win by 100 runs.

The U11 Plate Final turned out to be the game of the weekend as Monsoon took on Belhus, who had finished as runners-up in the league section of the season. Aarav Kansagra was in the runs for Belhus, but wickets from Stefan Stander and Elliott Russell and a tight all-round bowling and fielding display helped restrict the Havering League newcomers to 69-2. George Fulcher helped Upminster make a good start to their reply, but wickets kept tumbling and with that the run rate began to climb. Upminster were left needing nine from the last over with just one wicket in hand, and then six runs were still required from the final two balls. No problem for Ben Wheeler who struck a boundary from the penultimate ball, and then kept his nerve to find three runs from the final delivery to give Monsoon an unlikely victory.

The weekend finished with an all Upminster affair in the U11 Cup Final as the Heat, already crowned as league champions, took on the Thunder. The Heat were asked to bat first and Kayhan Suneel, Harrison Simpson and William Peck all reached the retirement mark as they posted 103-0 from their 12 overs. Jack Butler struck twice in the opening overs of the Thunder reply, but Stefan Stander and Ryan Arun took up the fight. Stander finished on a brilliant unbeaten 31, but Thunder fell just short on 81-5 meaning Heat sealed a league and cup double

Meanwhile on Saturday, the U13 Girls (Breeze) clinched the runners-up spot in the Central League with an excellent win over Brentwood at Shenfield School.

There are still a handful of games remaining in the Central League competitions, with one more possible title heading for Upminster Park, but honours so far for the 2023/2024 Indoor Season are as follows:

Havering U9 League – Runners-Up (Storm);
Havering U9 Cup – Winners (Storm);
Havering U11 League – Winners (Heat);
Havering U11 Cup – Winners (Heat); Runners-Up (Thunder);
Havering U11 Plate – Winners (Monsoon);
Havering U13 League – Winners (Inferno);
Havering U13 Cup – Winners (Inferno); Runners-Up (Flash);
Havering U15 Cup – Winners (Tsunami);
Havering U15 Plate – Winners (Blaze);
Central U13 Girls League – Runners-Up (Breeze);
Central U9 League – TBC, Winners or Runners-Up (Storm);
Central U11 League – Winners (Heat);
Central U12 League – Winners (Flash);
Central U15 League – Runners Up (Tsunami);

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