JOE MacGregor's fine knock was not enough to prevent Colchester and East Essex Cricket Club from sliding to a seven-wicket defeat against Brentwood.

Opener MacGregor scored 77 off 124 balls but it was otherwise a largely disappointing day for Darren Eckford's side, in their latest Hamro Foundation Essex League premier division match.

Colchester won the toss and elected to bat, at the Old County Ground.

Feroze Ahmed (6) and Ben Robinson (1) came and went relatively quickly but MacGregor kept going and put on a third-wicket partnership of 63-run partnership with Simon Fernandes (27).

But once Fernandes went, wickets tumbled again with Charlie Fernandes (0), Jack Hobbs (5) and Oliver Allison (4) all departing in quick succession.

Skipper Eckford (17) steadied the ship but was not at the crease long before MacGregor finally departed.

Oliver Hills was unbeaten on 12 at the end and put on useful partnership of 16 with Eckford and 21 with Vikas Agarwal but Colchester were dismissed for 161, in 56.5 overs.

Colchester's bowlers needed to make an early breakthrough, as Brentwood began their innings.

But the home side's opening duo of Aaron West (40) and Douglas Maxwell (20) put on 57 for the opening visit, to give Brentwood a solid platform from which to build.

Hopes were raised briefly when both openers departed and former Colchester batsman Jack Hebron was dismissed for five, caught by wicket-keeper Simon Fernandes off Charlie Watts' bowling.

But a fourth-wicket unbeaten partnership worth 85 runs between Christopher Green (60 not out) and Tom Oakley (25 not out) helped see Brentwood home to a seven-wicket win as they finished on 165 for three, in 26.4 overs.

Charlie Watts claimed 2-50 in his eight-over spell, with Agarwal claiming an economical 1-22 in his seven overs.

Colchester, who lie sixth in the table, travel to play Hornchurch, on Saturday.

Colchester's second XI were five-wicket winners over South Woodford, in their latest Second XI division one match at Castle Park.

After winning the toss and putting the visitors into bat, Colchester dismissed their opponents for 188.

Kieran Savill was in fine form for Colchester, claiming impressive figures of 6-60 in his 16 overs.

Dan Thacker (2-27) and Cameron Sprott (2-29) both took two wickets.

In reply, the highlight of Colchester's innings was a magnificent 102 by captain Kier Young.

Thacker (16 not out) and George Offord (four not out) were together at the crease at the close, as Colchester wrapped up victory in fewer than 40 overs.

Colchester's second XI host Hutton on Saturday.