Essex League Premier Division: Joe Ellis-Grewal congratulates Chelmsford after pipping Wanstead to title
PUBLISHED: 11:00 13 September 2017
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Overton Drive skipper disappointed with several aspects of Saturday’s crucial defeat at home to Chingford
Wanstead captain Joe Ellis-Grewal paid tribute to Chelmsford after they were crowned Essex League Premier Division champions on Saturday following a dramatic final day of the 2017 league campaign.
The Herons knew a victory at home to Chingford would see them retain the title, but they suffered a three-wicket defeat.
And with Chelmsford getting past Colchester at home, it saw them leapfrog Wanstead on the final day and seal the league championship.
Ellis-Grewal said: “I have to give credit to Chelmsford because they put us under pressure by getting the 25 points and it is just one of them things.
“If we look back there were three or four games we probably should have won that unfortunately we lost.
“But there were also three or four times where we snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat, so it is disappointing, but now we need to use it as motivation to win on Sunday in the final of the National Club Championship.”
After Saturday’s loss, Ellis-Grewal also reflected on a fine innings by Chingford’s Andrew MacGregor.
The away batsmen finished unbeaten on 62 to help the visitors recover from being 84-7 to win at Overton Drive.
Wanstead’s total of 158 all out always looked too short with a number of their batters failing to kick on.
Arfan Akram did well at the top and made 48 before he was caught, but the likes of Hassan Chowdhury (19), Feroze Khushi (13), Kishen Velani (28) and Ellis-Grewal (15) couldn’t build on solid starts.
In the end, Jonathan Das hit an important 22 not out to at least see the Herons pass 150 and at one stage it seemed it may be enough.
Ellis-Grewal (4-57), Aron Nijjar (2-42) and Mohammed Fayyaz Khan (1-17) started brilliantly and Chingford were quickly reeling.
But several rain breaks saw Wanstead lose their momentum and Chingford were able to take full advantage.
“Obviously it is always disappointing to lose and with it being the last game of the season it dictated what happened with the league,” said Ellis-Grewal.
“We’ve played some really great cricket over the last few weeks, which set it up nicely ahead of the final day.
“To be honest we didn’t score enough runs and a lot of our batsmen gave their wicket away, but we still came out all guns blazing.
“We had them 48-6 and then got another and the frustrating thing was the rain because it meant we came on and off about six or seven times.
“I was bowling well and so was Nijjar, but the pitch got wet and so did the wicket and it turned the game on its head.
“I do firmly believe had we stayed on then we could have bowled Chingford out, but credit to Andrew MacGregor who got fifty and played well and it just wasn’t to be.”
After Saturday’s disappointment, Wanstead now have double motivation to make history and triumph in the National Club Championship final at Essex’s Chelmsford County Ground venue.