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Good Essex League Division Two win for Gidea Park & Romford

PUBLISHED: 10:00 30 May 2016

Gidea Park & Romford's Jamal Francis hits out (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gidea Park & Romford's Jamal Francis hits out (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Francis plays captain's innings on the coast

Shawn Findlay celebrates taking a wicket for Gidea Park & Romford (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)Shawn Findlay celebrates taking a wicket for Gidea Park & Romford (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gidea Park & Romford earned a four-wicket win over Old Southendian at Southchurch Park, after a captain’s innings from Jamal Francis.

Sent into the field at Southchurch Park after losing the toss, Francis (2-49) nabbed a brace of wickets and saw Adam McKie pick up a wicket at the other end to leave the hosts 71-3.

But a 99-run stand for the fourth wicket got Southendian back on track and, although they lost four wickets for just 10 runs as Shawn Findlay (4-37) ran through the middle order, they reached 217-8.

Park lost openers Kasi Hoq and Zisan Abedin cheaply in reply to find themselves 8-2, before veteran Russ Collard and Francis joined forces.

Francis hit a six and seven fours to race to a half-century, as Collard played the supporting role at the other end to help take Park to three figures.

And the pair had put on 117 by the time they took a drinks break, with Francis unbeaten on 69 and Collard still there on a more watchful 35 from 85 balls.

Stalwart Collard, who captained the club to the Premier Division title at the start of the century, eventuall fell for 54 from 109 balls, after a 147-run stand and Francis followed soon after, having hit a six and 11 fours in his run-a-ball 84.

That left Park with two new batsmen at the crease and still needing 57 runs for victory.

Vice-captain George Rogers fell cheaply, but Shawn Findlay and Elliot Joyner picked off the runs to keep Park on track.

Joyner (22) fell with Park four runs short of their target, but McKie hit his first ball to the boundary to seal a four-wicket win, with Findlay unbeaten on 26 at the other end.

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