IT was a truncated programme in the Essex and Suffolk Border League on Saturday.

The top match was in the Essex Premier Cup but Alresford Colne Rangers exited at the quarter-final stage after losing to Essex Olympian League leaders Buckhurst Hill, at Ford Lane.

It was always going to be a formidable challenge for the home side against arguably the favourites to win the prestigious cup.

Buckhurst Hill have won 14 of their 15 league games with just one loss.

In another quarter-final tie, Tiptree Heath’s home match with holders Catholic United, also from the Olympian League, was a casualty of the weather and will be played this Saturday.

In the domestic league Knockout Cup, holders Gas Recreation moved smoothly into round three with an emphatic win over second division Cavendish, 4-0, at Bromley Road.

Luke Taylor bagged a hat-trick while Ryan Dale scored the other.

In the other tie, Lawford Lads inflicted a third consecutive defeat on runaway division two leaders Stanway Pegasus at School Lane.

There was no score after 90 minutes and the sides could not be separated after extra time.

However, the Lads progressed, winning 6-5 on penalties, despite being reduced to nine men following a straight red card for Sean Lorimer and two yellows shown to Samuel Perry.

In the premier division, West Bergholt took closer order in third place, crushing Barnston 7-0 at Lorkin Daniel Field.

They are four points behind Gas and Tiptree Heath, who both remain on 46 points.

Lewis Blanchett led the scoring with a fine hat-trick, supported with one each from Jake Bethell, Ryan Brown, Gareth Gibson and Lee Townrow.

Fifth-place White Notley had a fine 5-0 win over Wormingford Wanderers at the Playing Field, leaving the home side among the strugglers.

A Josh Goodey brace set them on their way with Lee Ifield, Adam Bennett and Rory Bone completing the scoring.

Another away victory saw Dedham Old Boys hit three at Lawn Meadow against Headinghams United to consolidate their comfortable sixth place with goals from Keenan Oboy, James Parker and Henry Welham.

In the other premier match, Great Bentley beat bottom side Brantham Athletic Reserves 3-1 at the Leisure Centre.

In division one, Flitch United took closer order to leaders Alresford Colne Rangers Reserves, who were inactive, by beating struggling Branthan Athletic A 6-1.

The Imps are still seeking their first win.

Alresford, meanwhile, are now just three points behind the leaders with three games in hand and look strong promotion candidates.

Shane Pyne scored twice while the other goals came from Troy Featherstone, Jordon Marsh, Daniel O’Brien and substitute Neil Rivett.

Tiptree Engaine surprisingly lost ground at Burches Meadow after losing 2-1 to visitors Bell Vue Social.

Although still in third place, they are six points behind Flitch United. James Ennew and Jayson Sowden did the damage, despite the sending off of Daniel Gasson-Davies.

It was an eight-goal thriller at Cage Lane where Boxted Lodgers drew 4-4 with Gas Recreation Reserves.

The Lodgers scorers were Paul Goddard, Conor Howard, Jack Keeble and Kieran Whittaker.

In division two, Long Melford beat Mersea Island 6-2 at the Glebe and Tollesbury defeated Harwich Rangers 6-1 at Low Road Recreation Field.

In division three, Gosfield United march on to the title with a 4-2 victory at Church Road and they hold a 14-point lead over Dedham Old Boys Reserves and Tiptree Engaine Reserves.

Results: Essex Premier Cup - quarter-final: Alresford Colne Rangers 3 Buckhurst Hill 4.

League Knockout Cup: Gas Recreation 4 Cavendish 0, Lawford Lads 0 Stanway Pegasus 0 (6-5 on pens).

Premier division: Brantham Athletic Res 1 Great Bentley 3, Hedinghams United 0 Dedham Old Boys 3, West Bergholt 7 Barnston 0, Wormingford Wanderers 0 White Notley 5.

First division: Boxted Lodgers 4 Gas Recreation Res 4, Colne Athletic 1 West Bergholt Res 0, Flitch United 6 Brantham Athletic A 1, Little Oakley A 5 Bures United 2, Tiptree Engaine 1 Bell Vue Social 2.

Second division: Harwich Rangers 1 Tollesbury 6, Mersea Island 2 Long Melford Res 6.

Third division: Bradfield Rovers 1 Tiptree Heath Res 4, Dedham Old Boys Res 10 Hedinghams United Res 0, Gosfield United 4 Tavern 2, Great Bentley Res 1 Barnston Res 1, Oyster 2 Tiptree Engaine Res 0, Tiptree Jobserve A 3 4 Shrub End United 4.