OLLIE Bocking was the unlikely batting hero as Colchester and East Essex claimed a dramatic victory at Harold Wood to keep their slim promotion hopes alive.

Set a revised total of 298 to win by the hosts in their Shepherd Neame Essex League division one clash, the visitors’ run chase went right down to the wire.

Colchester needed ten off the last over but number 11 batsman Bocking, at the crease in a final-wicket partnership with wicket-keeper Ollie Lovejoy, came up trumps with the vital runs.

He smashed a six with the first ball of the over and then hit the run required to seal victory on the penultimate weekend of the season for Jake Foley’s side, who kept their outside chance of a return to the premier division alive.

Skipper Foley, who missed the game because of a shoulder injury, said: “It was a dramatic ending to a tense game.

“It was one hell of a run chase and the boys were in high spirits afterwards.

“We needed ten off the last over and one off the last ball.

“Ollie Bocking hit a six and then hit the one that was required off the last ball, to win us the match.

“He’s a good number 11 and it was no surprise that he came in and did well.

“The boys showed a lot of fight.”

Harold Wood’s batsmen clocked up the runs after winning the toss and batting first, with Simon Fernandes arguably the pick of the Colchester bowlers with 2-44 off his five overs.

“It was a difficult day for the bowlers,” said Foley.

“It wasn’t the best start with them getting 297 so we went out there knowing that we had a run chase on what was a difficult wicket.

“They batted well and only lost the four wickets in their 50 overs, so it was pretty good for them to get that score.

“The boys actually did very well to keep Harold Wood to that total and keep it below the 300 run mark.”

Colchester’s reply was boosted by opener Joe MacGregor’s knock of 54, before Denson Narayan hit 83 to draw them further closer to their target.

“It was Denson’s type of wicket, hitting the line and it was good to see him put on a lot of runs with Joe,” added Foley.

“It was just a shame that he wasn’t able to get his 100.”

Frinton’s Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League cricketers completed back-to-back victories after winning by 84 runs at Cambridge Granta.

After losing the toss and being put into bat, Kyran Young's side made 256 for six from their 50 overs.

Michael Comber top-scored with 78 while Young made 50 and Jaik Mickleburgh 37.

In reply, Cambridge were all out for 172, with Sri Lankan Pulina Tharanga returning three wickets for 29 runs and Comber three for 28.

There were also a couple of wickets for Mervyn Westfield.

Frinton have two matches left - both at Ashlyns Road - with Norwich the visitors on Saturday.