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Article by Billericay Gazette: Billericay Cricket Club captain David Houghton says it is promotion or bust for the first XI this season.

With their match at home to Leigh-on-Sea abandoned as the rain fell, Billericay saw rivals Fives & Heronians leapfrog them into second place in Shepherd Neame Essex League Division Two, after they beat the weather and Wickford.

However, with 11 games left to play and Billericay only ten points behind leaders Belhus, Houghton isn't worried about the drop to third.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by David Houghton"]When it rains it's a bit of a lottery and the one team we didn't want to finish their game did," said Houghton. "They were the only team in the division to finish but that's just how it happens sometimes. Hopefully, we'll get one back later on in the season. It's pretty much promotion or bust for us this season. We feel that, with the players we've have got, we can definitely finish in the top two. It's still on.[/quote]

Billericay had been set 193 to win after Houghton (3-40 from ten overs) and Andy Smith, who took 3-20 from ten overs, had restricted the visitors.

Half an hour's play had been lost to the rain and Billericay were 24-3 in reply when the heavens opened for a final time.

Houghton was at the crease with opener Paul Martin and the captain felt that, despite the precarious situation, Billericay would have been able to chase down the target.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by David Houghton"]I thought it was gettable. Obviously, there was a bit of rain about and the ball was doing a bit early on, but I thought that once we'd seen that spell out we'd have been fine. We've been winning games recently by six or seven wickets so we were pretty confident of getting the total.[/quote]

Smith's tight, wicket-taking spell was praised by Houghton, who says there is more to come from the bowler.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by David Houghton"]He's just returned from university and he had a side strain so he was bowling at around 50 or 60 pre cent. Hopefully he can get his body right. He's a really good batsman as well and he's probably one of the strongest bowlers in our side at the moment.[/quote]

This Saturday Billericay travel to Horndon-on-the-Hill, hoping for third time lucky after the last two matches between the teams have been wiped out by rain.

Article and image by Billericay Gazette

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