BELHUS secured promotion to the Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division despite missing out on the title by just three points.

They took maximum points against Upminster but, despite losing, Buckhurst Hill’s 10 points proved enough for them to top the standings after 18 matches.

Belhus knew they would need their opponents to drop points if they were to finish top of the tree and they made the most of Upminster’s choice to field instead of bat.

Matt Doran (106) and Joe Joyce (104) scored stunning centuries to put on 209 for the first wicket.

And although both fell in quick succession Max Osborne (37 not out) added to the tally with Belhus declaring on 274/3 inside 40 overs.

Upminster lost a wicket with the first ball and although a number of batsmen got in they never threatened to match the score set by Belhus.

Doran took 5-63 while Joe Joyce chipped in with 2-9. Osborne, Connor Day and Danny Norris also took wickets but it was not be enough for the title.

Orsett & Thurrock ended a miserable season with a victory despite finishing bottom of the standings.

They beat Hainault & Clayhall by four wickets to condemn them to relegation.

Having elected to bat, Hainault failed to make inroads with the bat and were all out for 147. George Pavitt (2-34), Tom Redman (2-15) and Paul Bennett (3-40) were the main men with the ball.

Kirk Laws (46) top scored for Orsett as the target was surpassed inside 36 overs.

In Division Two Horndon-on-the-Hill survived relegation despite losing against champions Loughton.

Loughton reached 203 in their innings, with Stephen Edwards (6-62) impressed for Horndon.

But that target was overtaken with just six runs required. Danny Crowe’s 44 was the top score as Horndon finished the season third from bottom.

Stanford-le-Hope finished mid-table in Division Three after beating Ardleigh Green.