Wanstead & Snaresbrook returned to winning ways and maintained their 14 point lead at the top of the Essex Premier Division after they condemned Ilford to back-to-back defeats.

The National Cup champions ensured last weekend’s shock loss to Hornchurch was nothing but a temporary slip-up, as they convincingly beat Ilford by 85 runs largely thanks to the performances of Kishen Velani and Zain Shahzad.

Velani got Wanstead’s innings off to the perfect start when he hit 73 from just 91 balls and he was ably supported by Bilal Patel (46) as well as Adnan Akram (31) as the away side posted a score of 202 inside 47.1 overs.

Shahzad then stepped up to the plate, dismissing Ilford’s Hamza Muhammad early on for one, which proved to be one of three wickets that the Wanstead bowler racked up, conceding just 11 runs.

Skipper Joe Ellis-Grewal was also in good form with the ball (2-31) as Wanstead ousted Ilford for just 117, despite Syed Ashar Ahmed Zaidi’s 33, cementing their place at the top of the table.

Meanwhile, Chingford capitalised on Brentwood’s defeat to Hadleigh & Thundersley to move up to second place in the table, after they comfortably beat Shenfield by three wickets at home.

The away side’s innings got off to a decent start with Jack Potticary building on skipper Jack Kliber’s opening 16 by notching a half century.

But after Potticary was bowled by Chingford’s Jamie Porter for 52, Shenfield’s innings collapsed in dramatic style, with just one of their remaining batsmen reaching double figures, as they posted 111.

Porter (3-21) and Ben MacGregor (3-26) enjoyed a fruitful afternoon but they were upstaged by team-mate Liam Lannen, who took a superb 2-2.

After good work from their bowlers, Chingford’s reply got off to the worst possible start when they lost captain Alfie Taylor and Aryan Gupta early on.

Alexander Maskell helped get the home side back on track with 14, which was supported by the influential Porter who added a further 32.

Matthew O’Sullivan then posted a late 20 as Chingford managed to scrape over the line with three wickets to spare securing them a vital win, which saw them move into the top two.

In Division One, Buckhurst Hill piled further misery on struggling Woodford Wells as they secured their third win on the bounce after claiming a narrow 38 run victory, largely thanks to an excellent performance from Ryan Karunakaran.

Karunakaran almost scored half of Buckhurst Hill’s final tally on his own, as he caused Woodford Wells all sorts of problems when he entered the crease and recorded an impressive century of 114, which included 14 boundaries.

Woodford’s bowlers eventually breathed a sigh of relief when Karunakaran was caught by George Styles, but the Buckhurst Hill batsman was supported by Hermes Michael Solomonides (31) and Russell Beckett (19) late on, as the home side reached 270-9 inside 50 overs.

Gareth James spearheaded the Woodford reply with 88 from 73 balls, while Styles built upon Knut Wilmott’s 21 by adding a further 44.

But the Woodford trio lacked support from their team mates, as Buckhurst Hill’s Irfan Sahar took two late wickets, taking his tally to 4-30, while Rohan Bhome dismissed Nigel Holmes for 7, meaning the away side fell 38 runs short of the target.

That defeat leaves Woodford rooted in the bottom two, while Buckhurst Hill’s third win in a row means they are in striking distance of second place Harold Wood, with just one point separating the sides.

In Division Two, Loughton let their lead slip at the top of the table as they were overtaken by Oakfield Parkonians, after slipping to defeat against Horndon on the Hill.

Umar Choudhry built on Ewan Risby and Bilaal Anwar’s promising start by hitting 71.

But Choudhry lacked support from his team mates with Andrew Bridges only able to post 21 and Daniel Gymer a further 15, as Loughton were dismissed for 199.

Horndon’s response was emphatic as captain Jeff West couldn’t be moved, as he notched 81 not out, while Daniel Stone came within seven runs of hitting a half century, meaning they comfortably beat Loughton’s target with five wickets to spare.

Meanwhile, Fives and Heronians enjoyed better fortunes, as they continued their recent good form by picking up their third win in four games after thrashing Leigh on Sea by 182 runs.

Having won the toss, Fives batted first and Shawn Tuitt got their innings off to an excellent start with an opening 71 from just 61 balls, while Terry Ballard posted 56.

Charles Allen picked up from where the duo left off, hitting an unbeaten 88, which included 11 boundaries, from just 92 balls.

Their dominance continued when Lakshan Rodrigo also surpassed the 70 point mark, only to be bowled by Paul Humphries soon after for 78.

Nonetheless, it had been a strong innings for Fives who, despite a late collapse, managed to reach 382 before being dismissed.

Leigh-on-Sea’s opener Stuart Elliott wasn’t able to replicate Tuitt’s performance, but still managed to post a respectable 32, which was further supplemented by Dean Waller (35).

But in truth, the visitors were unable to reach the same heights as their opponents, as good performances from Rodrigo (2-18) and Jonny Kay (2-32) saw Fives restrict them to 200, sealing a dominant victory.

South Woodford slipped to back-to-back defeats after they were narrowly beaten by lowly Harlow Town largely thanks to Suraj Chauhan’s century in a high scoring game at Highfield Road.

After Daniel Baldwin’s opening 40, Chauhan entered the crease and was in a determined mood, hitting 131 from just 137 balls, propelling Harlow from 11-1 to 289-7 before he was caught by Krishan Vadher.

Ashley Alderson (33) and Daniel Farmer (44) increased Harlow’s advantage as they reached 306-8 inside 50 overs.

With a tough target to beat, Woodford knew they needed to start brightly and they were given hope after a consistent opening saw them sit at 110-3.

Harry Neicho then added a half century, hitting 57 from 88 balls, while Saihaj Jaspal racked up 32 and Vadher couldn’t be removed, having scored 42 not out.

But despite their best efforts, Harlow’s target proved to be too difficult to beat, as Woodford fell just 19 runs short after their allotted 50 overs came to an end.

In Division Three, second place Woodford Green made it back-to-back wins after comfortably beating Walthamstow by five wickets away from home.

Anthony Palmer (4-25) and Usman Azhar were the pick of the Woodford bowlers as they restricted Walthamstow to 169-9.

In reply, Woodford’s response was convincing as Hussnain Kazmi’s unbeaten 60 was supplemented by captain Hamaad Sayyed (38) and Palmer (33) as the visitors convincingly beat Walthamstow’s target with five wickets to spare.

Epping managed to bounce back from last week’s crushing defeat to Woodford Green by managing to hold on to claim a narrow win over Basildon & Pitsea.

Umesh Gadhvi’s unbeaten 70 proved to be decisive as Epping set a target of 223 to beat, after further contributions from Shetul Patel (25), Ramiz Miah (24) and Ahsan Akbar (28).

In reply, Chris Debond’s 44 and SivaSagar Dhanalakota’s 39 had left Basildon and Pistea with a realistic chance of surpassing Epping’s target, but a late collapse saw them come up three runs short.

It also proved to be another difficult weekend for West Essex, as they were defeated by Benfleet Town by three wickets, meaning they remain adrift at the bottom of the table.