December 18 2013 Latest news:
Monday, September 9, 2013
Club clinch first promotion to Premier Division
Harold Wood made history when gaining promotion to the Essex League Premier Division for the first time at the weekend.
A seven-wicket win at Wickford clinched the runners-up spot behind champions Loughton and ensured a second successive promotion for Tom Clarke’s side.
Having lost two of their first four matches this summer, Wood have remained unbeaten in 14 fixtures since and will join local rivals Upminster in the top flight in 2014.
Captain and chairman Clarke won the toss and put the home side into bat, which looked an inspired move when Shahbaz Khan struck with only the third ball of the match to dismiss Dominic Hurst.
But former Essex opener Darren Robinson hit a six and 13 fours in his 80, off just 85 balls to give Wickford momentum and a 67-run stand between Dean Etchells (47 not out) and Jonathan Pratt (38) helped them reach 258-6.
Waqas Shafique (2-43) nabbed a brace to finish with 21 league wickets at 16.38 and Wood got off to a solid start in reply thanks to Peter Clarke (21) and Raihan Hussain (30), who put on 53.
The pair fell in quick succession, but Colin Sher and Shahbaz Khan shared 156 for the third wicket to keep Wood firmly in the hunt.
South African Sher fell nine runs short of a fifth league ton of the campaign after hitting a six and eight fours, but Clarke helped Khan steer Wood to their target with four overs to spare.
Khan finished unbeaten on 82, after hitting three sixes and five fours during an 89-ball knock, while Clarke smacked two sixes and a four in a quickfire 26 not out, from just 17 deliveries.
Ardleigh Green finished in third place, after a closing-day defeat at Harlow, but the day proved memorable for stalwart Roy Smith after he hit his 100th century for the club.
Upminster ended their Premier Division season with a 10-run win at Chingford, in a reduced-overs contest.
But Gidea Park & Romford and Hornchurch both fell to defeat in their last matches of the Division Two campaign.
Sarvesh Damle finished three runs short of an unbeaten century as Park made 210-5 at Billericay, after hitting two sixes and 12 fours in a 91-ball knock.
But the hosts eased to a seven-wicket victory with seven overs to spare.
Hornchurch held Hutton to 192-9 at Harrow Lodge Park, with new-ball duo Pradeep Jayaprakash (4-28) and Mark James (2-33) the pick of their attack.
But Paul Murray (61) lacked support in reply as Hornchurch were dismissed for 144, with slow left-armer Danny Cocklin (5-29) doing most of the damage against his former club.