It was a remarkable Saturday afternoon for Upminster's senior sides as all five teams picked up victories. The first eight weeks of the season had been very much a mixed bag results wise, but as the campaign reached the halfway mark the Club had one of it's best Saturdays for many years. With the 1st and 2nd XI both playing the league leaders in their respective divisions the results were even more impressive.
At Upminster Park, Farid Butt (42) and James Evans (19) got the home side off to a fast start, but a cluster of wickets, which has so often been their downfall in 2019, saw them fall to 140-5. Shahbaz Butt and Terry Wyatt began to rebuild things, with Shahbaz making a half century and the pair taking the total past the 200 mark without further damage. The partnership soon reached three figures and Wyatt bought up a half century of his own soon after. As the total went beyond 250 Shahbaz brought up his own century before falling for 125, including 19 fours and 2 sixes. The partnership itself was worth 163. Wyatt then fell for 89 (11 fours and 2 sixes) but the Upminster total eventually reached 322-8 from their 50 overs. Any worries as to whether that total was enough were soon wiped away by Louis Pickering. The big pace man tore through the visitors' top order on his way to brilliant figures of 5-65. Colchester were 53-5 at one stage, and although Simon Fernandes made a gutsy 47 not out the league leaders were bowled out for 144 to give Upminster a huge victory. (Scorecard)
The 2nd XI travelled to Chelmer Park without a league win in their first eight games and when they lost an early wicket against leaders Chelmsford they would have been fearing the worst. Nathan Woods (31) and Paul Middlemiss (32) steadied the ship but they both struggled against some tight bowling from the home attack. Upminster reached 82-1 but then slid to 124-7 despite 27 from Jordan Tigg, as leg spinner Stuart Everard began to work his way through the Upminster line up. Sam Twine and Rob Mack dug in to take Upminster beyond 140 without further loss, but Mack's dismissal to an excellent caught and bowled saw the last three wickets fall for nine runs as Upminster were bowled out for 153. With early wickets needed Upminster were unfortunate to lose Jordan Tigg to a nasty facial injury while trying to take a sharp chance at slip, but Scott Fisher struck two overs later to remove the dangerous Rob Catchpole before trapping skipper James Gruijters in front next ball as Upminster foughtback. Fisher's fine spell yielded 3-25 before Ollie Heazle made the crucial breakthrough, sending back David Thirft for 20. Sam Twine joined in the fun to dismiss Neil Fergus before captain Billy Wright and Josh Lamont combined to take three wickets in three overs after drinks to leave Chelmsford eight down. Tigg bravely returned to the field and took a simple catch from Heazle's bowling for wicket number nine before the mercurial Lamont wrapped things up with the final wicket as the morning's leaders were bundled out for 105. (Scorecard)
Ollie White's 3rd XI recovered from their first defeat of the season last week to see of Harlow and stay very much in contention for back to back titles. The captain himself top scored as Upminster made 210-9 on a challenging track before bowling out Harlow for 148 to pick up the points. (Scorecard)
The 4th XI's rich vein of form continued as they beat Chelmsford by 100 runs at Coopers. Youngster Harvey Daniels carried on his excellent season as he made 47 to put his side into a good position. Their innings was in the balance with 15 overs to go though before Matt Mccarthy (43 not out) and Luke Williams (47 not out) took them to a challenging 198-4 from their 45 overs. Will Bottoms and Ryan Brown made early inroads into the visitors' batting before the spin trio of Kevin Roome, Luke Williams and Stewart Hammond wrapped things up, with Roome returning excellent figures of 3-31. (Scorecard)
With four results already in all eyes turned to the second pitch at Coopers as the 5th XI chased Gidea Park and Romford's total of 224-6, of which Mark Hope contributed a brilliant 117. Upminster captain Alex Bottoms showed nerves of steel to make a brilliant 55 not out and hit the winning runs with one ball to spare as Upminster recorded a perfect Saturday afternoon. (Scorecard)
On Sunday the League side fell to their second defeat of the season as they lost out to Ilford Lions and now face a battle to reach the end of season play-offs.