T.Rippon Mid Essex League Division 3
South Weald 1st XI 216-6 Rayleigh Fairview 1st XI 217-5
(Rayleigh Fairview won by 5 wickets)

Weald were looking for a win that would secure promotion at Rayleigh Fairview on Saturday, but a side missing six first-team regulars were beaten by a determined Fairview XI.

After winning the toss, Weald headed out to bat — but there was a bad omen for Weald when Pat Stroud was out from the first ball of the match after guiding a wide full toss straight to point.

Richard Donnelly and skipper Adam Chambers steadied the ship with a partnership worth 78 before Donnelly edged behind for 20.

Chambers departed in the same fashion an over later for 52, but Joe Courts continued his fine form to guide Weald through the rest of the innings.

With support from Neil Townson (23), Courts’ 83 not out guided Weald to a competitive if not spectacular total of 216-6. Crompton took 2-38 for Fairview.

The Fairview response started shakily with Joe Pummell ripping through the top order to leave Fairview reeling at 22-3. But a steady partnership of 118 between opener Crompton and Pettit (56) dragged Fairview back into contention and with ten overs left Fairview needed 70 to win.

Crompton turned out to be the hero the hero for Fairview, finishing 99 not out as he guided his side to a winning 217-5 with two overs to spare.

Going into the last game of the season, three sides are still in contention for the two promotion places in Division 3 — and Weald face fellow promotion hopefuls Danbury Queen’s Park at Sandpit Lane in this week’s crucial decider.