SNEL Div 1: Last-day drama in store at both ends of table
PUBLISHED: 19:53 31 August 2019 | UPDATED: 19:54 31 August 2019
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The final day of the Shepherd Neame Essex League Division One season looks set to be tense at both ends of the table.
Woodford Wells, Harold Wood, Shenfield and Fives & Heronians will battle it out to secure the second promotion spot behind champions Colchester, while only nine points separates Upminster, Gidea Park & Romford and Loughton in the fight for survival, with one of those three clubs to join Southend in Division Two in 2020.
Woodford Wells had to settle for just 12 points after having the better of a drawn match with Colchester.
Captain Mitchell Todd chose to bat first, but Jack Stead fell cheaply.
Joe Johnson hit eight fours in his 42 off 49 balls, putting on 77 with Todd, who added another 69 with Hugo Blogg.
Todd hit 13 fours in his 80 off 75 balls, with Blogg going on to finish unbeaten on 73 from 84 deliveries, having hit two sixes and six fours as Wells declared on 273-7 after 48 overs.
Colchester made a solid start in reply, but Deven Solanki and Farzand Shah combined to reduce them to 93-5.
Alexander Gilbert (4-28) then claimed the next four wickets to leave Colchester 167-9, but they held on for the draw at 179-9.
Harold Wood moved back up to third after beating Southend by 19 runs.
Captain Craig Perrin chose to bat after winning the toss at Southchurch Park, but saw his side slump to 33-4.
Maruf Chowdhury (29) put on 71 with Richard Brabner, who hit 10 fours in his top scoring 63.
And Juwel Roy (26) and Sadaif Mehdi (31) made quick runs down the order as Wood were dismissed for 210 in the 48th over.
Shahbaz Khan struck early with the ball in Southend's reply, in an opening spell of 6-3-4-1, with Taqi Abbas then taking charge and dismissing all the other home batsmen to return superb figures of 15.1-1-90-9.
Shenfield captain Roy Smith chose to bat first against Gidea Park & Romford, but Ollie Ekers fell cheaply to Harry Phillips.
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Jack Kliber (33) put on 66 with Khail Muhammad before succumbing to Jamal Francis, before Smith hit three sixes and five fours in his 51 off 57 balls in a 94-run partnership for the third wicket.
Jack Potticary added four sixes and two fours in his 50 off 39 balls, sharing 92 with Muhammad, who was finally dismissed for 113 off 119 balls after hitting 15 fours.
Aditya Kumar (2-49) claimed a second scalp of Chris Sains as Shenfield declared on 267-6 in the 48th over
Park slipped to 25-3 in reply as Charlie Haddon struck two early blows with the ball and Rob Petchey also had success.
But Ubaid Kiani and Francis joined forces to get them back on track, sharing 140 for the fourth wicket.
Francis hit two sixes and nine fours in his 74 off 75 balls before falling to Muhammad, who also dismissed Michael Pegram (22) to finish with 3-39.
Kiani held firm to finish unbeaten on 78, having hit 14 fours, as Park closed on 214-7 to keep their noses in front of Upminster.
Fives & Heronians chose to bat first at Upminster Park and Billy Amas (64) put on 114 with Brad Copper before falling to Nabeel Aziz.
James Aggio-Brewe dismissed Copper (54) and Charles Allen (22) in quick succession, while Louis Pickering accounted for Usman Jan.
Aggio-Brewe (5-57) and Ollie Peck had further success as the visitors declared on 261-8 after 49 overs, with Upminster losing Nicky Ison, trapped lbw by Abdul Ameer, without scoring.
Tom Daniels hit eight fours in his 45, in a 77-run stand with James Evans, before falling to Copper, who also dismissed the dangerous Shahbaz Butt.
Pickering (26) became Copper's third victim, while Terry Wyatt was run out after scoring 23 off just 13 balls, thanks to a six and two fours.
But Evans went on to reach 102, hitting four sixes and 12 fours, before also falling to Copper (4-109) to leave Upminster 224-7.
Farid Butt and John Curtis (23 off 13) saw them to their target, only to hear that relegation rivals Loughton had beaten Hutton by three wickets to leave them in the bottom two heading into the final day.
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