County Corner: Billy’s an Essex hero

PUBLISHED: 08:29 29 March 2012

Billy Godleman in batting action for Essex against Worcestershire (Gavin Ellis/TGS)

Billy Godleman in batting action for Essex against Worcestershire (Gavin Ellis/TGS)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League

Ton-up Godleman leads way

Essex had the better of the first day of their friendly against Worcestershire at Chelmsford.

Opening batsman Billy Godleman hit a century as the home side declared on 278-5 after 67 overs.

And unbeaten 56 from Vikram Solanki led Worcestershire to 112-2 by the close.

Essex lost Tom Westley and Jaik Mickleburgh cheaply, but Adam Wheater hit two sixes in his 42 off just 44 balls.

Left-hander Godleman displayed impressive timing in a 137-run stand with captain James Foster before edging to Solanki at slip, having hit 14 fours in his 112.

Foster struck 16 boundaries in an entertaining 89 off just 103 balls before holing out, but saw new signing Charl Willoughby make his debut and share the new ball with Maurice Chambers.

Visiting captain Daryl Mitchell lost his middle stump to Chambers, but Solanki and Matt Pardoe put on 103 in 24 overs before Tim Phillips struck late in the day.

Play resumes at 10.45am today, with Essex beginning a three-day first-class match against Cambridge University at Fenner’s on Saturday.

*Essex yesterday announced a small operating profit of £13,000 for 2011.

The club had made a loss of £22,585 in 2010, but received £300,000 of “exceptional income” from the ECB to help them into the black last year.

Treasurer Keith Brown said: “We maintained our contribution from membership but match income was down.

“Our income from one-day games in 89 per cent of gate income. Our reliance on Twenty20 income is greater than any other county and with the reduction in home games from eight to five in 2012 this represents a real challenge to our income.

“We will be investing a further £100,000 in cricketingn by strengthening our squad in the hope it will bring success in the field.”

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