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Kevin Roome10 May - 11:22
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Hamro Foundation Essex League season gets underway

With the sun shining, the timing couldn’t be better for the Hamro Foundation Essex League season to begin this Saturday.  After a pre-season disrupted by many factors, most notably the weather, Upminster’s six Hamro Foundation League sides will get their campaigns fully underway this Saturday.  With a number of youngsters having moved up through the elevens over the last two seasons, hopes are high for a successful season at all levels: 


JJ Smuts returns to RM14 having been a huge hit during the 2022 season.  Smuts goes straight into the line-up to face Epping at Upminster Park this Saturday.  New captain Pulkit Gupta will be hoping to get off to a winning start, but that will be tough against an Epping side who were denied promotion to the top flight for this season due to administrative issues.  The experienced duo of Terry Wyatt and Shaff Rahman will be key to the side’s success over the first few weeks of the season as a number of younger players such as Callum Berry, Jamie Green and Aki Rahman settle into the side.  Division One will be fiercely contested as always this summer, especially with Epping and Belhus, who filled the top two spots last season, not having gone up for differing reasons.

2nd XI:

It’s a local derby to get things going for the 2nd XI, as they make the short trip along Hall Lane to face Harold Wood in their season opener.  The 2s have narrowly missed out on the Premier Division title in the past two seasons, finishing as runners-up in 2022 and then in third place in 2023, and under new captain Billy Wright they will once again be hoping to challenge for a maiden title at this level. Saturday’s side is an excellent mix of youth and experience with young batters Gus Siggins and Rob Healy in the side, alongside a wealth of experienced campaigners such as Wright, Schofield, Mark D’Cruz and Ollie Peck.

3rd XI:

The reigning Premier Division champions start their league season with a trip to their favourite ground, as they travel to good friends Woodford Wells.  It only seems like yesterday (it was actually eight months ago) that Dan Simpson’s side were sealing a third title in six years at Monkhams Lane, and Simpson’s side will be hoping to lay down a marker for the season ahead this Saturday.  This week’s batting line up has a familiar feel to it with Simpson and his left-handed right-hand man Steve Limn at the top of the order, and Rob Mack, Alex Ward and Arun Kullar in the middle order.  Zoran Suneel will make his league debut for the club, while the bowling attack has a very youthful look to it, with Fenton Everingham, Stanley Moore, Ryan Oakes and Dylan Mansell lining up alongside Michael Jones (who certainly pushes up the average age).  Upminster and Harlow have gone toe to toe for the title in the last two seasons and they, alongside Wanstead and Snaresbrook and Wells, will likely be amongst the frontrunners again this summer. 

4th XI:

While there may be no trophy or pennant for it, the 4th XI were the highest finishing 4th XI in the county once again last season, and they welcome local friends Gidea Park and Romford to Coopers School.  Ian Munn will lead the 4s once again, and the opening batter has done a brilliant job in recent seasons, ensuring mid-table finishes for this side in a division containing 3rd XIs from a number of big clubs.  As with the 3rd XI, Munn’s line up is a real mix of youth and experience, with Matt Ingleson being given a deserved chance at the top of the order, Harry Bradford and Tom Young brought in to bolster the seam attack and all-rounders Ethan Berry and Ollie Clarke giving Munn plenty of options.  Bal Kullar returns to action for the first time in a number of years while Kaleb Forster will make his league debut for the club where his God-Father, Lorne Sprigg, played with such distinction between 2001 and 2004.  

5th XI:

After a number of seasons of near-misses, the 5th XI will be hoping to secure promotion this year under the leadership of Aalok Latey.  Latey and his side welcome Frenford 4s to Campion School this Saturday, and Latey has the experienced trio of Stew Hammond, Adam Overton and Shrey Shah to call upon.  Alongside them will be a host of promising young players who will be looking to showcase their skills over the coming months in what is always a tight and competitive division.

6th XI:

Last year’s Batter of the Year and Club Member of the Year remains in the 6th XI hotseat and will take his side to Wickford 4th XI on the opening day of the season.  Ray Calder will be hoping the move to the 4th XI Division One East Division will see a charge for promotion this season after a number of mid-table finishes in the West Division. 

Mid Essex XI:

The Mid Essex XI actually started their campaign last weekend as they lost out to Basildon and Pitsea 4s in the season opener.  This week they travel to Rayleigh Fairview 2s and will be without skipper Craig Grote, so Mike Larke will take charge as the side look to pick up their first ever win in this league.

All of this Saturday’s Hamro Foundation Essex League games are limited overs games and will begin at 12.30pm.  The Mid-Essex League game is also a limited overs contest and will begin at 1.00pm.

Women’s 1st XI:

The Women’s 1st XI make the short journey to Harold Wood in Division One of the Essex Premier League on Sunday (1.00pm).  They narrowly missed out last wicket at Wanstead, losing by one wicket, but welcome Paige Roche back this weekend, and she will be hoping to repeat her heroics from the T20 contest with Hutton three weeks ago.

Women’s 2nd XI:

After a rain off two weeks ago against Billericay, the 2nd XI will be glad to see the sun is set to shine this weekend as they travel to Frenford on Sunday for a Division Three contest (1.00pm).  Angela Green will captain the side and they will be hoping to get off to a winning start.

Friendly XI:

Dave Brown and his Friendly XI picked up a win against Old Fallopians last Sunday, and they will be hoping for more of the same this Sunday when they welcome old friends Hornchurch Athletic to Upminster Park (1.00pm).


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