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THE fascinating battle for the Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division title took another twist, leaving contenders, Brentwood and Wanstead & Snaresbrook, level on points at the summit with three matches remaining.
Brentwood currently occupies top spot following an eight-wicket success over Hornchurch at the Old County Ground.
Nick Winter took 7/43 as the home attack made short work of the Hornchurch batting order – dismissing them inside 38 overs for 121.
Former Essex man, Merve Westfield, top-scored for Hornchurch with an unbeaten 48, but his efforts were in vain as a current Essex player, Will Buttleman, hit 61* while skipper Aaron West chipped in with 40 to confirm a comfortable victory.
And that proved vital as Wanstead batted out to share the spoils at Buckhurst Hill.
The home side posted a competitive 235/9d, with Hendro Puchert’s 92 the highlight of the innings. Jahansher Akbar claimed four wickets for Wanstead and Bradley De Villiers three.
However, it looked as if Buckhurst Hill were on for a notable victory as the visitors floundered on 91/6. Tom Cummins hit a half-century to ensure the contest ensued, leaving the Wanstead tail to hold their nerve, batting out time to snatch a draw.
Jahansher Akbar and Mohammed Fayyaz Khan were still there at the close. The epic battle continues next weekend, Saturday, August 24 when Brentwood head to Billericay and Wanstead travels to Chelmsford. Both matches start at 12:30pm.