Harlow Town CC backed up last week's impressive performance with an excellent run chase to beat Old Southendians & Southchurch CC.
HTCC 246-3 beat
Old Southendians & Southchurch CC 245-8 by 7 wickets
After an excellent win last week it was vital that the Town maintained the momentum and were faced with a huge test against OSSCC. Town won the toss and elected to field against the side top of the league and supported by none other than Sir Ian Botham - pictured.
24 runs were on the board before Ashley Alderson removed Johnson for 15 bringing the OSSCC Australian overseas Michael Hill to the crease. From ball one he looked in control, his shot selection, judgment and execution all came together to deliver one of the best innings from a visiting player for some time.
He took advantage of a very good pitch and steered the OSSCC innings almost to its close, finally falling in the last couple of overs for 142 with Pat Yates taking a sharp stumping off brother Ronnie.
His dominance was reflected in the scorecard as the next highest score was extras with 20, and then Craddock with 19. Ronnie was the pick of the bowlers with four for 58 from 10 and Dan Farmer returned excellent figures of one for 22 from 10 overs.
The Town reply got off to another solid start with the returning Shiraz Ali (38) and Pat Yates (50) falling two short of an opening stand of 100 to set the foundation.
Joe Holland made a classy 31 before mistiming a slower ball from the impressive and sharp OSCCC opening bowler Adam Randall, before Ramya Upahdyay continued his good form with a well-paced 59 not out.
Neil Gladwin joined Ramya with the score on 149 and the pair saw the game home with nine balls and seven wickets to spare to complete a thoroughly professional run chase.
HTCC 2s 217 beat
Old Southendians & Southchurch CC 143 by 74 runs (Timed Game)
It was a cloudy day with rain in the air as Town set off for a top-of-the-table clash with OSSCC, however on arrival the pitch proved to be in great condition thanks to some great preparation work by the home team.
On a dry pitch Town lost the toss and were asked to bat by a strong opposition side and found themselves in trouble at 11 for three after only four overs with Smith extracting great bounce from the surface and troubling the Town top order.
Having watched wickets fall around him Scott Alderson began rebuilding the innings with Tim Poulter and both batted well until Poulter was dismissed LBW by the left-armer Seadan. This brought Ben Eversden to the crease at 59 for four and he quickly set about counter-attacking.
When Alderson fell to a ball from Williams that kept very low he had compiled 59 from 105 balls and provided Town with a great recovery getting them to 154 for four with 10 overs left in their innings.
Late-order wickets fell as Town looked to finish strongly and Ben Eversden finally fell for an explosive 86 and Town were dismissed for 217 in their last over.
The OSSCC innings started slowly and Ben Eversden contributed again by removing Mortlock cheaply. A bowling change brought the experienced Graeme Eversden on in place of his son and in combination with Jack Elston who bowled with exceptional pace and bounce throughout his spell of 18 overs.
While few wickets fell OSS were unable to get either bowler away with G Eversden eventually finishing with figures of 13-7-27-2. As 6pm signalled the last 20 overs and OSS not looking like chasing the target down stand-in captain Rowell made a bowling change in search of the win introducing himself as a spin option.
Chances were quickly created and Rowell removed both Worsfold and Bray in successive overs, the second a well-taken catch on the boundary by Bilal Ali. With spin proving a successful attack Poulter joined Rowell in the attack and removed Gay to give Town a real shot at the win.
OSS captain Threadgold batted well in an effort to prevent the defeat by the reintroduction of Jack Elston proved decisive and he removed Threadgold with a short ball that was taken sharply at point by Charlie Coleman.
Poulter and Elston removed the last two wickets in quick succession as Town completed the win with two overs left in the game dismissing OSS for 143 in what proved to be a great all-round team performance.
HTCC 3s 199-1 beat
Hutton 3s 198-8 by 9 wickets
The undefeated 3rd XI continued their good recent form with an emphatic win over Hutton.
They restricted the visitors to 198 for eight from 52 overs, an innings based around a solid 97 from the skipper Ian Harris. Tristan Rees picked up three wickets, Paul Morrell two with a wicket apiece for Vic Goddard and James Teale.
198 never looked like being enough on another excellent batting wicket at Phoenix Park.
After losing opener Johan Cloete for four, a maiden 50 for Jake Messenger in a partnership of 174 with Brendon Maclean saw the Town romp home with ease.
Both Jake and Brendon recorded personal best scores finishing on 87 and 85 not out respectively. It was the perfect tonic for 3s skipper John Simpson who is recovering from back surgery, with both the team and the club as a whole wishing him a speedy recovery.
Billericay 142-3 beat
HTCC 4s 139 by 7 wickets
A weakened 4th XI came up against a very strong Billericay who sit on the top of the league, and on this evidence fully deserve to.
Town were unable to really challenge Billericay in any department with the defeat being the first defeat by any of the HTCC league sides this campaign.
Highlight of the day for HTCC was a splendid knock from Paul Blunt of 41.
Stanmore CC 198 for 0 beat
HTCC 197 by 10 wickets
The Town came down to earth with a bump on Sunday losing by 10 wickets against a strong-looking Middlesex Premier League side Stanmore CC in the CCC Cup.
Winning the toss and batting, Town found runs hard to come by against a very good opening pace attack. Dan Baldwin was first to go for 13, but solid knocks from Shiraz Ali (40) and Tom Price (25) kept the innings ticking.
Neil Gladwin then hit his second half-century of the weekend with 59 and Ashley Alderson ensured a respectable total was achieved as he smashed a quickfire 36 to take the total to 197 from their 45 overs.
The Town’s bowling and fielding was well below par - missing a few key players the attack was somewhat light and it showed.
On a very good batting track the Premier League side never looked troubled in their run chase, Dan Farmer and Shaun Alderson both bowled well but without luck and Stanmore completed a comfortable 10-wicket win with Pandaya scoring 107 not out.
HTCC 137-4 beat
Hainault & Clayhall CC 136-9 by 6 wickets
The Town visited Division 1 side Hainault & Clayhall CC in the Dukes T20 Cup last week and recorded their first win in the competition.
A strong H&C CC including Etinder Bopara (brother of Ravi) won the toss and batted. Ashley Alderson, bowling with good pace and carry accounted for both openers for nought before Bopara (58) and Nawaz (35) steadied the ship and made sure H&CCC used up their overs, finishing on 136 for nine.
Alderson finished with impressive figures of four for 21 from four overs. Scott Baker, who removed the dangerous Bopara took three for 35 and Shaun Alderson picked up the other two in a very good bowling and fielding performance.
Tom Price (25) and Shiraz Ali (14) got things off to a decent enough start and a quickfire 39 from Charlie Coleman put the Town in control which left Pat Yates (8 not out) and Ashley Alderson (9 not out) to seal the win with four balls to spare.
The Town host Premier League side South Woodford at home on Friday 20th in their next T20 Dukes cup Match which kicks off around 6pm.
Summing up the week, chairman Stuart Alderson said:
"Our first win in the Dukes T20, knocking table toppers OSSCC off the top spot and hosting Middlesex Premier League side Stanmore CC in the CCC cup shows how far we have come in recent years.
"The games are coming think and fast and every one is important. The 1s are away to Epping CC this week and whilst they are not one of the strongest sides in the Division they are capable of beating anyone on their day so we must remain focused and playing at the intensity we have managed for the past two Saturdays.
"We are now 17 points in front of second placed OSSCC with a game in hand, the team spirit is very high and everyone is looking forward to the next match.
"The 2s and 3s also had convincing wins on Saturday and sit 2nd in their respective leagues also with games in hand.
"Our U11s won twice during the week and the Tornadoes remain unbeaten after another impressive victory in what was a very strong week for the club.
"League games and T20 Cup games are our focus this week which will then quickly turn to the small matter of hosting the Lashings All Stars on Friday 27th June.
"Entry on the day is free so we are hoping all the local community and surrounding clubs take the chance to visit and watch some of the greatest players to have ever played the game playing right here in OUR Town.
"The bar will be open all day, plus a tea and cake stand, sausage bbq, face painting, ice cream van and much more to keep people refreshed and entertained."