Gidea Park & Romford draw positives
PUBLISHED: 08:17 08 June 2015 | UPDATED: 08:17 08 June 2015
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Gidea Park & Romford had to settle for a draw with Essex League Division Two rivals Wickford at a sunny Gallows Corner.
But neighbours Ardleigh Green saw their struggles continue with defeat at Billericay that leaves them rock bottom of the table after five matches with only nine points to their name.
Park captain Jamal Francis chose to bat first after winning the toss, but saw Chris Collier and Babel Hasibul Hoq fall cheaply to leave his side 15-2.
Francis joined club stalwart Russ Collard in the middle and dominated a 53-run stand for the third wicket, hitting six boundaries in his 38 before being trapped lbw.
Veteran Collard then put on a further unbroken 142 with Shawn Findlay, hitting two sixes and two fours to finish 63 not out after a watchful two-and-a-half hour innings spanning 138 deliveries.
Findlay took the attack to the Wickford bowlers, meanwhile, hitting two sixes and eight fours to finish unbeaten on 79 from just 68 balls as Park closed on 210-3.
Harry Thompson struck early in Wickford’s reply but the visitors then put on 110 for their second wicket.
Joe Gordon made the breakthrough to dismiss Dean Etchells, then added another scalp with his next ball to leave Wickford 131-3.
Findlay struck at the other end and, after a run out made it 154-5, picked up a second wicket to raise Park’s hopes of success.
Wickford rallied, though, and had taken their score to 183-6 before Francis and Findlay (3-24) claimed late scalps to ensure another bonus point for Park, who visit Green for a derby encounter at Central Park next weekend.
Green slumped to a fifth successive defeat after being put into bat at Billericay.
Having made scores of 108, 193-6, 133 and 84 in their first four matches of the season, Chris Cook’s men saw their struggles at the create continue at Blunts Wall Road as they were dismissed for 122.
Paul Hurworth (40) hit eight fours in the middle order, but Green were 87-9 as Ross Poulton (6-36) wreaked havoc before Aaron Hills (21) and last man Inam Rehman added an innings-best 35 for the last wicket.
Ayaz Younis reduced the hosts to 13-3, but Billericay eventually cruised to their target in 29 overs without further loss.
Poulton completed a fine all-round display with an unbeaten 54, hitting a six and eights to seal a seven-wicket win and leave Green 13 points adrift at the foot of the table.