2009 ESSEX PREMIER LEAGUE CRICKET CHAMPIONS AT LAST
Champions! Standing: Richard Walford, Sam Pountney, Harri Jones, Tom Moore, Max Osborne, Jahid Ahmed, Kasun Bodhisha. Sitting: Aaron West, James Redwood, Jon Walford (Capt.), Ian Belchamber, Ben Cocklin.
This photograph - from the 2009 Premier League winning season was taken before the start of the match against Wanstead, which was eventually abandoned due to rain (July 11th, 2009).
22nd August, 2009. Brentwood 1st XI - 288-8. Chelmsford 1st XI - 202 all out. Brentwood won by 86 runs.
Brentwood's 86 run victory over second placed Chelmsford on Saturday ensured their first ever Shepherd Neame Essex Premier League trophy.
The size of their victory reflected the dominance Brentwood have held in a league they have led since the very first game of the season. Of all the games Brentwood have completed in the league so far, they have won all but two. Brentwood are now top by a whopping 56 points with two more games left in the season.
In fact, the league deciding game had a very familiar ring to it. An excellent solid opening start, allowing the lower middle order allrounders freedom to play their shots and a very powerful finish completing a large total, with the opening seam bowling attack killing the game off early with early wickets at little cost, and then spin finishing the game off. In this instance it was Sam Pountney's allround skills that helped Brentwood to victory.
Watched by a large away support that included almost half the Life Vice Presidents of the club, the solid start was provided by the top four of Jon Walford, Aaron West, Kasun Bodisha and James Redwood. Each got off to a start, but perhaps surprisingly none really kicked on to a big score, with Walford's innings and quest for 1,000 league runs being curtailed by a misunderstanding with West that led to a runout.
Brentwood could potentially have been in a spot of bother at 114-4, but confidence appears so high that players were still able to play their shots.
Pountney came in and scored 55 at just under a run-a-ball. His partnerships with Jahid Ahmed have been a joy to watch all season, and this was no exception as their clever running and big hitting moved the game on in Brentwood's favour. Their partnership put Brentwood back in control of their innings, and allowed Max Osborne to come in and play his natural game, which involved hitting the ball a very long way. Off the back of his first county 2nd XI fifty, his quickfire 38 ensured Brentwood would have a large total to defend. Ben Cocklin then provided the coup de grâce with a cheeky cameo that involved an all run four to backward point.
Brentwood's opening attack of Osborne and Ahmed has undoubtedly been the best in the league this season, and they have dominated opening batsmen. Whilst on this occasion, they did not pick up their usual large hauls, their economy rates ensured the run rate was only climbing towards seven runs per over.
The introduction of spinners Bodisha and Harri Jones further tied Chelmsford up, with Jones producing his best spell of the season, picking up the two crucial wickets of Kamran Ali and Rob Hayto, the latter producing a superb cameo that had would have had Brentwood very worried should it have continued much longer.
Nick Prowting was the batsman who looked most likely to take the game to Brentwood, much as he did in the previous fixture at the Old County Ground. However, he was out to Pountney's second delivery as the left arm spinner beat Prowting in the flight for 72.
Pountney carried on taking wickets, taking 4-14 from just four overs. With the re-introduction of Bodisha it never looked like Chelmsford were going to get close to Brentwood's total and the league leaders started to put men closer to the bat to try to win the league in style.
It was Bodisha who picked up the final wicket, fittingly caught by captain Jon Walford, who has been one of the main figureheads for Brentwood's push to this title.
It would probably be fair to say that every single player in the squad has put in a performance that has allowed Brentwood to win a game. That match winning ability will be important as Brentwood head into the last two games. There will be no opportunity of taking things easy as Brentwood look for two more wins to take their points tally to a whopping 290.
There will be all to play for as the newly crowned champions take on former winners Ardleigh Green, in a game their local rivals must win to stay in with a chance of maintaining their Premier League status for next season.
2009 Season Fixture Card & Results
Match Report by Ian Belchamber.
On August 21st 2010 Nuwan Shiroman bowled Greg Churchill for a golden duck and got Brentwood their fourth bonus point, not only did Brentwood just about scrape over the winning line as they have done on so many occasions that season; but by beating Chelmsford at Chelmer Park, they all but mathematically won the Shepherd Neame Essex Premier League title as they had done at the same stage and place as 2009.
On September 3rd 2011, Brentwood rounded off the 2011 season in style with a 168 run victory against Ardleigh Green to ensure a winning margin of 28 points over nearest rivals Wanstead in the Shepherd Neame Essex Premier League. Despite the disappointment of poor performances dumping Brentwood out of the cups, it will surely go down as one of the most successful in Brentwood's history. Not only did Brentwood win the Shepherd Neame Premier League title for the third consecutive time, becoming only the second side to do so, they also won the Dukes Essex T20, reached the last 30 of the National T20 competition and the last eight of the National Cup.