JAKE Foley admits Colchester and East Essex were beaten by the clock in their pursuit of an opening-day victory over Brentwood.
But the Castle Park skipper says they can be encouraged by their draw against one of the Shepherd Neame Essex League premier division’s leading teams.
Colchester set their visitors 293 to win in their league curtain-raiser, with Jack Hebron leading the way with 93.
But despite Foley’s five-wicket haul, they frustratingly fell just two wickets short of victory after Brentwood finished up on 261 for eight, in their 57 overs.
Foley said: “We were on top for around 80-90 per cent in the game and there were a lot of positives to take from it.
“We were unlucky not to get the couple more wickets that we needed, near the end.”
After being put into bat, experienced openers Greg DeSilva (66) and Julian Russell (37) assembled an opening-wicket stand of 62.
Hebron then kept the runs coming and put on a second-wicket partnership of 99, with DeSilva.
Batting at number five, Foley (55) also made a half century, as Colchester set the visitors a tough target.
“We were put into bat, which isn’t what we wanted,” said Foley.
“But when three of our top five batsmen got past 50, we knew that we would be in the game.
“Jack Hebron batted really well and was unfortunate not to get a century and Greg DeSilva also got 66.
“Brentwood have a very good bowling attack and we knew that anything above 250, we’d have a very good chance of winning the game.”
Colchester’s bowlers made early inroads, with Brentwood at one stage 46 for three.
Foley (5-78) took regular wickets but it was ultimately not enough for them to seal victory.
He said: “Once we got them out, we felt with a chance but we ran out of time in the end.
“I was happy to get five wickets and score 55 but a win would have really topped things off.”
The following day, Colchester bowed out of the National Club Championship after losing to Frinton by six wickets, at Castle Park.
Colchester batted first and wobbled early on, finding themselves 12 for two.
But they steadied the ship after that, with Jack Crace (52), Henry Hebron (48) and DeSilva (38) helping them set a target of 197.
Colchester’s bowlers made early inroads, as Frinton replied.
But former Essex star Mervyn Westfield hit an unbeaten 79 to help steer the visitors home, despite Jack Hebron’s 3-46.
“We were unlucky with availability issues,” said Foley.
“Frinton took advantage of our lack of batting and we didn’t get enough runs.”
Colchester (160 for eight) beat Chelmsford (101) by 59 runs, in their opening Essex League T20 game.
Josh Rymell top-scored for Colchester with 35, while Foley (3-15) was the pick of their bowlers.
Colchester (242 for six) saw off Brentwood (241 for eight declared) in their second XI premier division opener.
Andrew Kennedy (4-74) chipped in with four wickets, while Feroze Ahmed top-scored for Colchester with 90.