Upminster not too down after thrilling Essex League Division One defeat to Billericay insists captain Alan Ison
PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 August 2016
©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468
Leaders suffered loss off last ball of the match at weekend, but still have 51 point lead over nearest title rivals Southend
Upminster captain Alan Ison admitted they didn’t allow themselves to be too down after Saturday’s defeat to Billericay in Essex League Division One.
The leaders were expected to register a fourth consecutive victory against a side just above the drop zone.
Ison’s men could only manage 183 before they were all out in the 50th over of the innings and Billericay looked to be cruising to their target.
A stunning fightback with Connor Whetstone, Matt Tigg and John Curtis at the forefront ensured a tight finish, but the visitors claimed a one-wicket win by scoring a single off the last ball of the match.
“We did fight back really well and weren’t too down about the result when we spoke after the match,” said Ison.
“To take 10 points from the game, we weren’t too disappointed and we have a good lead so we aren’t too worried at the moment.
“We spoke about the defeat after the game. There are things we need to work on, but we have three matches left and we’re focused on them.”
After batting first, only Julian Whetstone (43) and Shahbaz Butt (54) reach double figures out of the top five.
The next best score was 23 from number 10 Tigg as Upminster reached 183 before they were dismissed.
Ison added: “We defended 181 vs Southend, who are second, a few weeks ago so we weren’t too concerned at halfway.
“It would have been good to get up to 200 and get the eight points, that was what we were aiming to do.
“Matt has played quite a few decent innings in recent weeks for us and it’s a shame he’s so far down the order.
“It just goes to show the strength of our batting line-up, but he’s done well lately for us with the bat.”
After Billericay made a strong start, it always looked a tall order for Upminster to win the match.
Paul Martin hit 42 at the top of the order for the visitors and fellow opener Nick Van Lint struck 66.
Connor Whetstone dismissed the pair and claimed another scalp to finish with 3-45 off 14 overs.
Tigg (3-40) ripped through the middle order and suddenly it wasn’t so straightforward for Billericay.
With only two runs needed off the final over of the match, the away side were firm favourites to win.
But John Curtis (2-28) dismissed two players before forcing a run-out, but Billericay just got over the line.
“Connor bowled seven overs straight and I couldn’t believe he didn’t get a wicket in the spell,” said Ison.
“It was so frustrated to see him not get one, but he come back with Matt and they both did really well.
“Then Beast in the last over nearly won it for us so it was an exciting finish, but they got over the line.
“I think they needed two from the final over and John had a guy stumped, he got another, they got a single and then the run-out happened before they won it last ball.”