After some improved results in recent weeks it was a step backwards for most of Upminster’s senior sides on Saturday as poor availability and poor performances saw them on the wrong end of four defeats, with the 4th XI picking up the day’s solitary victory.
After two wins in a row the 1st XI were hopeful of making it three from three as they travelled to Fives and Heronians. Despite two early wickets they were 78-2 in the 12th over and going well, before the loss of Shahbaz for 43 saw them slide to 117-7. James Evans dug in to make a well constructed half century, but his departure for 52 saw the last three wickets fall for 2 runs and Upminster were all out for 138. Louis Pickering struck twice early on in the Fives reply, but it was a false dawn as unbeaten half centuries for Bradley Copper and Jake Poulter saw Fives to an eight wicket win with 18 overs to spare.
A poor performance from the 2nd XI saw them slide to their third successive defeat on a sweltering afternoon at Upminster Park. It looked like a good toss to win as Upminster chose to bat first, but as has been the case all season they lost wickets at crucial times and could never recover. Stu Connor made 41 to keep the home side in the game, and late contributions from Rob Mack, Sam Twine and Mark D’Cruz helped them to reach 138 all out. Andrew Berry picked up an early wicket as Brentwood began their chase, but although Upminster bowled and fielded well Brentwood were always in control and won by seven wickets, with Douglas Maxwell finishing 48 not out.
There was a first defeat of the season for the 3rd XI as they lost out to a strong Shenfield side at Coopers. Arun Gautham (94) and the experienced Dave Castell (60) got Shenfield off to a great start, and although the young Upminster side stuck to their task well Shenfield were able to reach 245-4 from their 45 overs. Ryan Brown and Callum Berry both picked up two wickets for the home side. Several Upminster batsmen made starts in the reply, but only Rohan Mayor and Berry were able to offer any serious resistance. 13 year old Berry made a superb unbeaten 46, but it was not enough as Upminster finished on 186-9 to lose by 59 runs.
The only winners of the day were the 4th XI, who came out on top against Belhus 4s. Stewart Hammond (49) and Dave Brown (35) were in the runs, but it was 53 from youngster Harvey Daniels that really caught the eye. His innings enabled Upminster to set a competitive 208-7 from their allotted overs. Michael Cansdale (59) got Belhus off to a good start and he and Rob Healy (43) put their side in a good position at the halfway stage. Veteran Karim Govani put Upminster back in charge though, as his 4-25 put Belhus on the back foot before Michael Jones and David Cowley grabbed a brace of wickets each to bowl out Belhus for 166 and give Upminster a 42 run win.
The 5th XI included three senior cricket debutants in their side, and despite a valiant effort were well beaten by Oakfield Parkonians. Parkonians made 236-5 from their 40 overs and Upminster were shot out for 42.
On Sunday the Friendly XI took on Ingatestone and Fryerning in the annual Anniversay T20 game, with Ingatestone coming out on top by six wickets.
Updated 08:29 - 3 Jul 2019 by Paul Middlemiss