From ECA Match Captain, Mark Murrell:
Essex made up for a double defeat away to the visiting Surrey teams back in November with a double home win both the Essex U1850 and U1450 teams turning the tables – and some – in the case of the U1450s, who as a result top the table with two matches to go on the superior head-to-head tie break over Surrey. The U1850 team presently hold the second qualification spot for the national stage by their fingernails, also over Surrey thanks to a superior game point total from the matches played so far. The Essex cause here was helped by a home double for Middlesex over Kent.
SCCU U1850: Essex 9½-6½ Surrey
At Wanstead. Peter Nickals had one of those happy headaches for a skipper with more players at his disposal than available boards. Consequently, he was able to field his strongest team of the season so far and his two debutants did not disappoint. Essex opened a two point gap early in proceedings, but were brought back level at 4-4 and again at 6-6, without having been behind. Late in the session, Essex pulled away with three wins and a draw in the last four results.
For now, Essex sit in the second qualification position and staying there is in their own hands, they just have to match (or better) Surrey in their respective matches against Middlesex and Kent.
SCCU U1450: Essex 8½-3½ Surrey
At Wanstead. Richard Ball and Matt Garwood shared the captaincy duties in the absence of skipper Malcolm Crane. The five game winning margin hides a much closer match, Essex having the rub of the green in a number of games. The import of Essex’ greater winning margin here than that of Surrey in the away fixture, is that, should Surrey and Essex finish equal on match points, Essex will take the higher place (provided no other teams are involved in the tie).
Match details and full reports with updated player stats in the team pages – links below.