Stanford 2nds 127-9
Gidea Park & Romford  133ao

CRICKET: THE slow and low batting track seemed to defeat both sides in this topsy turvey encounter at Stanford-le-Hope, writes Alex Ellis.

After winning the toss and opting to bat first Gidea Park and Romford found themselves reduced to 35-5 after some penetrative bowling from Stanford openers Andrew Love (4-29 from 12 overs) and Ben Tarten (3-36 from 11 overs).

Simon Baldwin (37), Waleed Wain (23) and Liam Neal (27), managed to put together some productive partnerships to bring the score up to respectability before young spinner, Jack Carter, finished off the tail with two wickets of his own. After tea Stanford found the going just as tough and made a calamitous start to the run chase at 16-5 as Gidea Park’s bowlers took advantage of the conditions, Liam Neal (4-25 from 15 overs) and Charlie Haddon (3-31 from 17 overs) cashing in.

Fortunately for Stanford the rot was stopped by the experience of club captain Duncan Page and team skipper Drew Robinson who managed to forge a partnership of more than 50 to give the home side a chance.

When Robinson fell for 14 it was time for the tail to wag and it almost did, however, despite Page’s battling unbeaten 54 the home side fell just seven runs short and the game ended in a draw.

Stanford travel to table-topping Hutton next week for the last game of the 2014 season.