Premier Division

Wanstead and Snaresbrook remain very much in the title hunt despite a poor batting display costing them in a 47-run defeat at Ilford.

The loss leaves Wanstead third in the standings but just 23 points off top spot with six fixtures remaining. Yet they do still boast the advantage of a 28-point lead over the side beneath them, Colchester and East Essex.

Having won the toss Wanstead elected to field first and looked to have built themselves a good position by removing their hosts for an under-par 181.

Only three Ilford batsmen made it to double figures and a pair of half-centuries were integral to reaching that total as Hendro Puchert (56) and Neville Jacobs (52) got going.

However, Zain Shahzad (three for 24) and Mohammed Fayyaz Khan (three for 46) were the protagonists for Wanstead with the ball and the pair, along with Adnan Akram (one for 16), left the home side in a spot of bother.

But Wanstead suffered similar issues with the bat and both openers – Arfan Akram (24) and Shahzad (24) – were dismissed without making great inroads on the target of 182.

Saurav Prabhakar (17) soon followed and although Feroze Khushi (28) chipped in with a few runs at number five, the middle order collapsed to a meagre 134 all out.

Having been at 51 before they lost their first wicket, the away side then lost five more before passing the 100-run mark.

Loughton's Rishi Patel hit 143 to inspire his side to a 54-run win at Buckhurst Hill, who themselves edge closer to the drop zone with defeat.

For Loughton, tucked away safely in the middle of the pack, the victory means they edge closer to confirming their divisional status. However, for Hill the loss has rather more serious ramifications and they are now just three points clear of second-bottom Ilford.

Visitors Loughton had made a stuttering start with the bat and saw openers Ubaid Ur Rehman Kiani (30) and Matthew Schubert (12) removed cheaply.

But from there the run-rate picked up significantly as Mahmad Ali Khail (86) and Patel got into the swing of things to give Loughton an imposing total of 319 for four.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: West Essex batsmen Mo Zahour (second left) and Zia Anwar (second right) take a breather. Picture: Dave LovedayWest Essex batsmen Mo Zahour (second left) and Zia Anwar (second right) take a breather. Picture: Dave Loveday

Further contributions from Daniel Gymer (18) and Bilal Butt (16) helped push the score out further.

And despite their best efforts, Buckhurst Hill could not match that total or even come close.

Losing opener Ian Russell for a duck was a far from ideal start and although they staged a recovery to reach 69 before losing a second wicket – Russell Beckett the man to go on 32 – Loughton took charge from that point on.

Husnan Kazmi (four for 46) was at the forefront of that bowling assault whilst Shaun Gymer got in on the act to take three for 49 from 10 overs.

At three, Alexander Maskell made 46, whilst Darren Ironside (64) did add some runs further down the order. And a flurry of late knocks from the tail end saw Rohan Bhome (16), George Hick (14) and Daniel Isaacs (10) all chip in.

But their efforts were not enough and Buckhurst were all out for 265 after 49.1 overs to bring the bottom two into sharp focus.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: West Essex's Mo Zahour keeps his eyes on the ball as he lets fly. Picture: Dave LovedayWest Essex's Mo Zahour keeps his eyes on the ball as he lets fly. Picture: Dave Loveday

South Woodford picked up an important 125-run win in their battle against relegation, James Swash hitting 78 en-route to a priceless victory over Colchester and East Essex.

Twenty points mean South Woodford are four points above Ilford, who occupy the final spot in the relegation zone.

Dane Watson made a bright start for South Woodford, hitting 71, before Swash (78) came in at three to further enhance the home side's total with seven fours accrued from his 87 deliveries.

Kishan Vadher (37) and Richard Browne (27 not out) then chipped in to leave the home side with a good total of 280 for five.

Colchester proved no match in reply and found themselves in real trouble at 93 for six. Garry Neicho (three for 26), Watson (two for 19) and Browne (two for 31) led the way with the ball and had the visitors all out for 155 after 42 overs.

Alfie Taylor's century was not enough for Chingford, who were beaten by five wicket at Brentwood, leaving them in the middle of the pack.

Put into bat after losing the toss, Chingford made a good start as opener Taylor hit 109 from 131 deliveries.

But those below him in the order failed to follow his lead and Jack Potticary (20), Jack Preddey (13) and Jay Edmonds (16) all followed in quick succession.

The tail added a few late runs but after such a strong start it was a disappointing 223 for eight which Chingford returned to defend.

And their defence was similarly limp as Brentwood got home with five wickets in hand after reaching 236. Only Ben MacGregor (two for 23) took more than one wicket as Chingford could only delay the inevitable.

Division One

Woodford Wells are still in with a chance of securing promotion but they will need plenty more days like this after easing to a seven-wicket home win over Upminster.

Currently fourth and 39 points behind second-placed Southend-on-Sea & EMT, Wells dismissed their hosts for just 141.

Maurice Chambers (four for 22) and Donovan Miller (four for 26) were largely responsible for that, merciless ripping through the Upminster order to leave Wells with a solid platform from which to complete the win.

Joe Johnson (47), Alex Sharp (28) and Brenton Thompson (52 not out) subsequently knocked off the required runs to clinch a clinical win after 30.3 overs with a total of 145 for three.

Division Two

Fives and Heronians remain on-course to win promotion after sealing a 16-run win at home to Billericay.

Batting first, Fives were less than impressive with the bat and put up a target of just 149 all out.

But where they faltered with the bat they excelled with the ball and removed their visitors for 133 to pick up another 20 points on their march to promotion.

Division Three

West Essex breezed to a much-needed 110-run win at Woodford Green which moves the relegation-threatened side within touching distance of safety.

Thirteen points separate West Essex and safety, whilst Woodford Green are clear by 32 points after two thirds of the league campaign.

And after posting 279 all out, West Essex restricted Woodford to just 169 to pick up a commanding victory which they will hope to build on this weekend.

Epping were four-wicket winners at home to Basildon and Pitsea thanks to some fine middle-order hitting.

Tanvir Hasan (two for five) and Salim Mithani (three for 43) had both impressed with the ball for Epping to leave Basildon with a score of 175 all out.

But their good work looked in danger of being undermined when openers Hasan (2) and Asif Iqbal (18) failed to fire.

It fell to the middle order to pick up the baton, though, and they thrived. Sachin Bawa (37 not out), Tapan Patel (34), Manan Patel (19) and Umesh Gadhvi (34 not out) all made runs to drag Epping across the line with a total of 179 for six.

Oakfield Parkonians suffered a blow to their title hopes as they lost by six wickets at Old Southendian & Southchurch.

Parks were put into bat first and could not lay down the necessary marker as they were skittled out for a disappointing 184.

Rana Muhammed Arslan's 74 went some way to bolstering their score but it was a below-par effort from the visitors who left themselves facing an uphill struggle with the ball.

And a struggle was precisely what it proved to be as Parks could only remove four Southendian wickets.

Jibran Azam (two for 35) fared best but the hosts were home with 188.