Colchester and East Essex come to Upminster Park on Saturday, as the SNEL season reaches the halfway mark. Having lost a handful of players in the winter Colchester have defied the odds to sit top of the Division One table after the first eight games. Last week they saw off Woodford Wells with a thumping win, having beaten previous leaders Shenfield the week before. Denson Narayan has starred with the bat in recent weeks and will be one to watch, while Harry McBrearty has been in good form with the ball. Ollie Peck’s side will be looking to bounce back from a poor performance at Fives and Heronians. Their two previous matches, against Hutton and Harold Wood, had bought two excellent performances and two victories, but last week’s setback saw them fall back into the relegation zone, and they will be looking to complete the first half of the campaign on a high.
For the 2nd XI, their performance against Brentwood last week was a familiar story. Promising individual performances and glimpses of what the side were capable of, but ultimately another heavy defeat. They will travel to high flying Chelmsford hoping to pick up their first win of the season, at the ninth time of asking. The first five weeks of the season had seen five solid performance and five draws, but the switch to the limited overs format has not gone as planned for Billy Wright’s men. Chelmsford sit second in the table, just behind Brentwood, and have been consistent this season, as they always are. Last week they brushed aside Oakfield Parkonians, picking up a nine wicket win.
Ollie White and his 3rd XI will be looking to bounce back from their first defeat of the season, when they make the journey up the M11 to face Harlow. White’s side was very much a changed outfit last week for the defeat to Shenfield, but they welcome back several key faces for this important encounter. Harlow have been in good form themselves in the first half of the season, and they lie fourth in table. Last weekend they beat Harold Wood in a high scoring contest, and that followed up an excellent performance that saw them beat Shenfield the week before.
The only winners last Saturday were the 4th XI, and their recent form has seen them climb to fourth place in the table . Their win over Belhus last weekend was an excellent result and saw a fine all round team performance. Captain Stewart Hammond has been in the runs in recent weeks and he will be looking to continue this form as they face Chelmsford at Coopers. Chelmsford sit in ninth place as the halfway point approaches, although they have picked up two wins already this season. They were well beaten by Billericay last Saturday and will be looking to pick up a win this weekend.
Also at Coopers (on the top pitch), the 5th XI welcome Gidea Park and Romford 4s for a local derby. Upminster were soundly beaten by Oakfield Parkonians last Saturday, although the game did give good experience to several young players. That defeat brought to an end a good run of recent form for Alex Bottoms’ men and Bottoms will be pleased to have several familiar faces back in the side for this important contest. Gidea Park lost out in a thrilling game against Buckhurst Hill last week, with over 600 runs being scored during the contest. They will include prolific lower eleven batsman Matt Burch in their ranks, so more runs could be on the cards this weekend.
Sunday sees a top of the table clash in the Essex Sunday League as third placed Upminster visit second placed Ilford Town. The Matchplay side also look to follow up on last week’s win at Springfield when they take on Ilford at Upminster Park, in one of SEVEN colts matches taking place this Sunday!!!