Upminster’s 1st and 2nd XIs both face a hugely important Saturday afternoon as they fight for survival in their respective decisions. The 1st XI, currently sitting in eighth place, face Southend on Sea & EMT who lie one place and 15 points below them in ninth. With just six games of the season remaining the game is a crucial one for both clubs. Upminster’s contest last week with Loughton was rained off without a ball being bowled, while Southend recovered from a poor start to get themselves into a decent position against Woodford Wells before the weather curtailed that contest as well. Southend won the early season contest between the two sides in convincing style, with a nine wicket win at Southchurch Park, so Ollie Peck’s men will be looking to make amends this weekend.
The 2nd XI travel to Valentines Park to face mid table Ilford, and Billy Wright’s side will be looking to move off the bottom of the table. Although Upminster’s contest with Wanstead and Snaresbrook was called off last week due to the weather, they have been in good form of late winning at Chelmsford and then putting in an excellent performance against Shenfield two weeks ago. Ilford’s form has been up and down in recent weeks, but they are always a tough proposition on their home ground. The game at Upminster Park in early June between the two sides ended in a draw, with Ilford looking set for victory for much of the game, before Upminster fought back and nearly claimed a win.
The points are needed at the other end of the table for the 3rd XI, as they make the short trip to Hornchurch for a local derby in the Premier Division. Last week’s weather meant Ollie White’s side missed out on a showdown with title rivals Brentwood, and they now sit in third place in the table with Hornchurch one place below them in fourth. White’s side lost for only the second time this season when they fell to defeat at Woodford Wells two weeks ago, but they did have the better of the contest with Hornchurch in June, winning in comfortable fashion.
The 4th XI will continue their push for a top two finish when they welcome Billericay to Coopers. Upminster missed out on a chance to close the gap on one of the frontrunners last week when their clash with leaders Hutton was cancelled. After winning the week before against Old Southendians Stewart Hammond’s side will have been confident of another victory, so they will want to secure the points tomorrow. When the sides met back in June Billericay came out on top with a seven wicket win, but they sit one place below Upminster going into tomorrow’s contest.
The 5th XI did not lose out last week with the rain, as they had no league fixture anyway, and they have local derby action tomorrow as they travel to Brentwood. Upminster’s form has been up and down of late, and they lie fourth in the table while Brentwood sit in sixth position. Mark Hoptop was in the runs when the teams met in June, as his unbeaten 45 helped Upminster to an eight wicket win, and they will be hoping for more of the same tomorrow.
On Sunday, it is the colts who take centre stage, with two huge matches taking place. In the morning, at 9.15am at the Club, the U11s entertain Woodford Green in the quarter finals of the Haydn Davies Trophy. And then in the afternoon at Coopers, Upminster’s Matchplay side welcome Chelmsford, also in a quarter final contest. Any support at either game would be much appreciated. Also on Sunday, the Sunday League side take on Belhus in their latest Premier Division encounter.