The SNEL season got underway on Saturday, and once the rain had stopped it was a mixed day for the Club. The 1st XI fell to an eight wicket defeat in their opener at Woodford Wells. Nathan Woods got his season off to a great start with a sparkling 77, and with Shahbaz making 44 and Terry Wyatt an unbeaten 37 Ollie Peck’s side were able to make 211-8 from a reduced 46 overs. Mitchell Todd picked up 3-71 for the Wells. Peck and Louis Pickering struck early in the Wells reply and the game looked like it would be a tight contest, but Todd followed up his three wickets with a marvelous unbeaten 113, and with help from George Styles the home side cruised home with plenty of time to spare. (Scorecard)
It was a tighter affair between the same two clubs at Upminster Park. Upminster were asked to bat first in tough conditions and Wells were on top early on as Shafiqullah Kamal picked up four wickets. However, youngster Sam Twine, making his 2nd XI league debut, played beautifully for an unbeaten 67, and with help from last man Mrk D’Cruz, they took Upminster to a competitive total of 165-9. Scott Fisher and Mark D’Cruz then reduced Wells to 41-4, but the visitors countered through Andrew Gibbon (48) and captain Will Rogers (22) as the game entered the last hour. Dan Simpson removed Rogers thanks to a fine catch from Will Frost and then Twine struck twice as Wells fell to 111-8. Upminster couldn’t find the final wickets though, and the game ended in a draw. (Scorecard)
The first league winners of the season were the 3rd XI, who started the defence of their Premier Division title with 25 points at Harold Wood. Veteran Rob Mack made a determined 47 to help Upminster recover from a sticky start, and then Rohan Mayor added some late runs (33 not out) to see Upminster to a respectable total of 166-7. Max Gordon picked up two early wickets as Wood began their chase, and three run outs then left the home side in trouble. Ant Limn came on and mopped up the tail with 3-18 as Wood were rolled out for 97 and Upminster went to the top of the early season standings. (Scorecard)
The 4th XI also picked up an opening day win, as they beat Frenford 3rd XI in a tense encounter at Coopers School. Frenford were in trouble early on but recovered through Rehmat Hassan, Daniel Oliver and Atif Malik. Spin twins Kevin Roome and Luke Williams then took over for the home side to turn things Upminster’s way, and Frenford struggled to 141-9. Captain Stewart Hammond and Gary Carr then put together an excellent second wicket partnership as Upminster began their chase, and although Hammond fell for 20 Carr continued and made 68 as Upminster looked to be cruising to victory. However, from 122-4 and 140/6 they slipped to 140-9 and needed Kevin Roome and Brian Martin to keep their nerve and see Upminster to a one wicket win. (Scorecard)
The 5th XI had to settle for a draw in their contest with Loughton 5s. Debutant Vishal Sharma struck twice early for Upminster, but 60 from Michael Bridges helped Loughton go past 150. Youngster Havery Daniels produced an excellent spell to pick up 3-12 as Loughton were dismissed for 155. Daniels (31) and Ray Calder (25) then put together a half century stand as Upminster made a positive start to their reply, but they then collapsed dramatically and needed Sharma and veteran Don Triggs to hold on for a draw at 97-9. (Scorecard)
On Sunday morning five of our colts sides were in action, and three of them picked up victories. The U9A side overcame Bancroft Lions in the Don Coates Trophy, the U11A side beat South Woodford in the Haydn Davies Trophy and the U13s came out on top against AG & HAB in the Havering League. There were narrow defeats for the U11B team in a thriller against Rainham in the Havering League and for the U13s in the Len Stentiford Trophy at Frenford.