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Tricky encounters up next for Havering-atte-Bower Cricket Club and Noak Hill Taverners Cricket Club in Mid-Essex League Division Three

PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 May 2016

Noak Hill's Romesh Geekiyanage loses his wicket against Havering (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Noak Hill's Romesh Geekiyanage loses his wicket against Havering (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Two local rivals have had contrasting results this season, but both have difficult fixtures this weekend

Havering-atte-Bower’s strong start to the Mid-Essex League Division Three season will be tested as they host early pace-setters Purleigh at Broxhill Road tomrorow (Saturday).

James Walker’s men registered a second consecutive victory last Saturday at local rivals Noak Hill Taverners after chasing 170 with five wickets to spare.

It placed them second in the table prior to entertaining Purleigh, who have started with comprehensive wins against Stock seconds and Eastwood.

But Havering will go into the clash full of belief after beating their local rivals recently. Tom Hine got the visitors off to a brilliant start at Noak Hill by claiming 4-9 from six overs.

James Edge (1-21) and skipper Walker (1-35) backed up that bright opening spell, but the hosts were able to regroup and make the most of some wasted opportunities to get to 169-8 from 45 overs.

Havering remained confident of chasing the total and Pete Edge continued his fine form by scoring 30 at the top of the order.

Noak Hill were taking wickets at regular intervals, but couldn’t halt the flow of runs.

Ryan Hurley’s innings of 48 was crucial before he was dismissed, but James Lavender ensured his team got over the line.

Delighted captain Walker said: “It was a great game played in excellent spirits. I’m very proud the lads stuck to the task.

“We played with the right spirit and credit to Frankie Aiano for some excellent fielding – he saved plenty of runs in the field.”

Noak Hill Taverners can expect another difficult afternoon when they travel to take on Chadwell Heath in Division Three tomorrow (Saturday).

Roger Bayley’s team, beaten in their first two league matches of the campaign, will go up against a side that has won their first two fixtures and currently sit third in the early standings.

But the Church Road club can look to draw on some positive performances with bat and ball last weekend.

In-form Ali Raza, fresh from hitting 68 at Eastwood on the first day of the season, was again in the runs and scored an unbeaten 79 against local rivals Havering, but the next highest score was 16 from skipper Bayley.

Extras contributed 31 to Noak Hill’s final tally and opening bowler Alfie Hedges impressed with the ball to finish with 2-27.

Mick Hodgson (2-38) also nabbed a brace, but Havering knocked off the runs in the 37th over with five wickets to spare.

Bayley will be hoping Noak Hill can improve further this weekend.

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