Wanstead and Snaresbrook won to ensure the title race will go down to the wire

A vital victory: Buckhurst Hill, batting, opened up a cushion over Hadleigh and Thundersley in the Division One promotion race with a convincing win over Wickford on Saturday. Picture: Ken Mears

A vital victory: Buckhurst Hill, batting, opened up a cushion over Hadleigh and Thundersley in the Division One promotion race with a convincing win over Wickford on Saturday. Picture: Ken Mears

First published in Football by

Premier Division

Wanstead and Snaresbrook have ensured the title race will go right down to the wire after picking up a seven-wicket win over Upminster on Saturday.

The victory means Wanstead trail table-toppers Chingford by four points with two matches remaining.

Misem Ali Syed-Zaidi (five for 31) was the star in the field for hosts Wanstead, who were given first use of the ball.

Zaidi tore through the visitors’ middle order to great effect and reduced the away side to 202 for nine. Only opener Billy Gordon (73) offered any real resistance as he hit eight fours from 121 deliveries.

The Wanstead reply began in steady fashion, with Arfan Akram (60) and Saurav Prabhakar (42) paving the way to a comfortable win.

Adnan Akram (54) and Jonathan Das (29) then struck the winning runs as Wanstead reached 204 with seven wickets in hand.

Chingford kept up the pace at the top of the table as they comfortably beat Harold Wood by 168 thanks to Daniel Lawrence’s century.

Lawrence opened the batting in fine fashion and hit131 to set the visitors on their way to victory.

Supplemented by good knocks from Ben MacGregor (28) and Billy Rhone (23), Chingford reached 249 all out despite Sarfaraz Ahmed’s six for 49.

Just two Harold Wood batsmen hit double figures in response. Raihan Hassain (20) and Colin Sher (18) made the only passable scores in a dismal 81 all out.

Jamie Porter (four for 26) and Lenny Daniels (four for 35) both excelled with the ball.

South Woodford suffered a disappointing defeat at relegation-threatened Shenfield, going down by 37 runs.

Having won the toss, Shenfield opted to bat first but were unable to build any momentum with the bat as Nick Browne (four for 35) got stuck in for Woodford. Ollie Ekers (61) was Shenfield’s highest scorer en route to 208 all out.

The visitors were equally disappointing with the bat, with only four batsmen even reaching double figures.

Harry Neicho managed 31 and 51 from Ashley Leat threatened to stabilise the innings before a collapse saw the away side dismissed for 171, with Mike Hindley taking three for 18.

Loughton were well below-par as they fell to a seven-wicket loss at Chelmsford following a pitiful batting display.

Put into bat, the visitors were removed for 69 inside 30 overs. Only Kashif Mahmood (22) and Mohammed Hafeez (17) managed to reach double figures.

Anthony Hill finished with figures of three for 17 for the home side.

Chelmsford lost three wickets off the bowling of Hamza Omar (three for eight) but still strolled home thanks to good knocks from Dan Hagen (34) and Chris Prowting (20).

Division One

Buckhurst Hill put some much-needed space between themselves in second and third-placed Hadleigh and Thundersley with a 113-run win over Wickford.

Hill now lead the third-placed side by 33 points following Saturday’s success.

Having chosen to open the batting, Buckhurst scored steadily throughout their innings, with Shane Cassel (45) and Hermes Michael Solomonides (39) weighing in with important knocks.

Late runs from Mohib Shah (28 not out) and Jamie Allen (27) helped boost the Hill total to 226 for eight.

Wickford could not follow suit and were taken apart by Shah, who finished with figures of four for 35.

Darren Robinson did open with 41 but it was downhill from there as the visitors were removed for a disappointing 113.

Woodford Wells won by 66 runs at Hutton to ease their relegation fears.

Batting first after losing the toss, Wells made 213 all out, with Will Rodgers (890 and Joe Johnson (54) to the fore.

The visitors then removed their hosts for 147.

Division Two

Fives and Heronians beat Billericay by 72 runs with Mick Perry falling three short of his ton.

Kishan Patel (44) and Gary Norris (40) helped build upon Perry’s 97 to push the Fives total up to a commanding 255 all out.

Billericay flattered to deceive in reply and despite seeing all but two batsmen reach double figures, could not build any real momentum.

Andy Smith made 30 and Philip Reynolds managed 31 but it was not enough and the visitors were removed for 183. Jake Poulter claimed three for 32.

West Essex were unable to climb out the relegation zone after drawing against Gidea Park and Romford.

Some fine lower-order hitting salvaged a West Essex innings which looked for a long time like it would come up short.

Zia Answar made an unbeaten 55 and was well-supported by Arched Munhall (36) and Zohair Khan (26) in helping West Essex to 230 all out.

Gidea Park saw their innings lean heavily on Sam Hewitt’s quick-fire 46, with only six of his runs coming from singles.

Despite Ahsan Sarfaraz’s return of three for 30, Gidea Park held on to close on 155 for seven and snatch a draw.

Division Three

Bottom-of-the-league Epping’s chances of survival are fading after another loss – this time going down by 108 runs to Old Southendian and Southchurch.

Hosts Old Southendian were in ruthless form and built a commanding total through Max Craddock (70) and Gary Threadgold (61). They reached 256 for four before declaring.

Epping started reasonably well but once Gokul Balasubramanian (25) and Simon Lycett (39) were removed, they were in trouble.

Late runs from Salim Mithani (30) and Ajay Sahni (25 not out) could not stop defeat and Epping were removed for 148.

Matthew Austin took four for 48.

Oakfield Parkonians put some much-needed distance between themselves and the relegation zone with a 131-run win over second-bottom Benfleet.

Batting first, Parks were quickly into their rhythm and Paran Kalley (65), Jibran Azam (41) and Taaha Naqvi (46), were able to build a competitive score of 233 all out.

Paul Frensham finished with six for 79 for Benfleet who made just 102 in reply.

Abdul Rehman Razzaq (three for 11) and Amar Thanki (three for 18) tore into the Benfleet line-up and never allowed their visitors the chance to build a substantial reply.

Woodford Green held on to a claim a draw from their clash with second-placed Harlow Town.

Inserted into bat, Harlow began in imperious fashion with Patrick Yates (60) and Shiraz Ali (89) to the fore.

Ramya Upadhyay also hit 48 as Harlow made 236 for three from their overs.

Jack Cossey (34) and Rana Arslan (33) made promising starts but were not supported by the middle order and ultimately had to cling on to draw with142 for eight.

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