SNEL WEEK 18 - REVIEW

SNEL WEEK 18 - REVIEW

By Paul Middlemiss
9th September
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1st survive despite loss, 2s go down despite victory


It was a crazy end to the league season on Saturday with delight and heartache for different Upminster sides.  At Castle Park the 1st XI were comprehensively beaten by champions Colchester & East Essex but survived thanks to the eight bonus points they collected and Gidea Park and Romford's result at Harold Wood.  Upminster were asked to bat first and made a solid start, but it was Shahbaz Butt who really got the innings moving, in partnership with Nabeel Aziz.  Aziz made 37, but with four other batsmen also making double figures Butt had plenty of support as he moved towards another century.  He soon brought up three figures and then started to cut loose before falling for a brilliant 123, as Upminster made 251-7 to secure maximum batting points.  Meanwhile back in Havering, Gidea Park only picked up three bowling points as Harold Wood chased promotion (meaning Upminster were two points above Gidea Park at the tea interval). Colchester started their innings well with openers Joe MacGregor and Julian Russell looking in good form, while back at Harold Wood Park the home side's bowlers took control against Gidea Park.  Colchester's batsmen continued to dominate in the North of the County and both openers soon brought up their centuries as Upminster realised they would need assistance elsewhere.  Harold Wood continued to stay on top back down the A12 and Gidea Park were eventually dismissed for 116 meaning Upminster were safe.  MacGregor and Russell remained unbeaten to the end as Colchester won by ten wickets to show they were worthy champions, but Upminster had done enough to maintain their Division One status. (Scorecard)

For the 2nd XI it was heartache as they beat Chelmsford by one wicket at Upminster Park, but were relegated as Oakfield Parkonians beat Shenfield to survive at their expense.  The Upminster win also cost opposition Chelmsford the Premier Division title as Hornchurch came in to take top spot.  Chelmsford won the toss and elected to bat first and with Roby Hayto and Jack Cook looking in good form they made their way to 117-3.  However, Billy Wright and Shaffiq Rahman then came into the attack and tore through the Chelmsford middle and lower order to turn thing Upminster's way.  They picked up four wickets each as Chelmsford collapsed to 150 all out.  Upminster then made a disastrous start as they slid to 24-3.  Will Frost stood firm amid the carnage on his way to 41, and he found support from Nathan Woods and Josh Lamont as Upminster came back into it, but when they fell it was left to Ellis Pickering to move his side towards the finish line.  Pickering was run out for 21 and Upminster were nine down with 14 runs still needed.  Last pair Scott Fisher and Billy Wright inched Upminster towards victory and Fishers's shot over mid off secured the win.  However, news an hour later that Shenfield had been bowled out at Oakfield Parkonians meant Upminster were relegated to Division One. (Scorecard)

The 3rd XI secured back to back titles with their win over Harlow (separate report on website) and the 4th XI claimed an amazing third place finish with a four wicket win at Chelmsford.  It meant Upminster were the highest finishing 4th XI in the League.  Chelmsford batted first and several batsmen made starts but couldn't go on, with veterans Ant Limn and Karim Govani picking up three wickets each for the visitors.  This all meant Chelmsford finished on 169-8.  Five Upminster batsmen passed 20 as they set about their target, but the game was in the balance before Ryan Brown (29 not out) and Dave Cowley (31 not out) saw Stewart Hammond's side to a four wicket win.  (Scorecard)

There was also a final day win for the 5th XI as they won at Gidea Park to finish fourth in the table.  Captain Alex Bottoms top scored with 38 as Upminster reached 187.  James Griffin picked up five wickets for the home side.  Nathan Bright and Aaolk Latey then did the damage with the ball with three wickets each as Park were bowled out for 110, despite 56 from Yogesh Kanchan.  (Scorecard)

The 6th XI were also in action and enjoyed a great day at Rettendon and Rayleigh Fairview, before eventually falling to defeat.  (Scorecard)

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