CHARLIE Watts inspired Colchester and East Essex to a crushing eight-wicket win over bottom side Harold Wood, in their latest Hamro Foundation Essex League premier division match.

Watts claimed outstanding figures of 5-22 in his 6.5 overs to help the hosts to a hugely convincing victory, at Castle Park.

Colchester skipper Darren Eckford won the toss and put visitors Harold Wood into bat.

It proved to be a good decision, as the visitors were soon struggling under pressure from some impressive bowling and fielding.

Opener Ausman Ginai went for four and wickets fell regularly after that.

The sixth-wicket partnership of 23 between Hamzah Ikram (13) and Hassan Malik (21 not out) proved the highest for the visitors.

Watts claimed the bulk of Colchester's wickets and was helped by Vikas Agarwal (2-26), skipper Eckford (1-27) and Oliver Allison (0-14) as Harold Wood were dismissed for just 93 in 33.5 overs.

Colchester set about reaching their modest target but openers Joe MacGregor (13) and Feroze Ahmed (5) departed relatively quickly.

However, an excellent unbeaten 72-run partnership between Simon Fernandes (41 not out) and Dan Wolf (37 not out) helped ease Colchester to a comfortable victory.

Colchester, who claimed the maximum 20 points from the victory, lie sixth in the premier division table.

They visit Billericay on Saturday.

Colchester's second XI were also victorious after beating Loughton II in second XI division one.

The hosts won the toss and elected to bat first.

Their number five batsman John Mills hit 32 in 40 balls, as Loughton were dismissed for 140 in 31.2 overs.

Pick of the Colchester bowlers was Akshay Lonkar who claimed figures of 3-20, in his seven overs.

George Offord (2-31) took two wickets and there were also wickets for Dan Thacker, Oscar Baker, Archie Sprott and Jacob Drew.

In reply, Colchester's openers Ben Robinson (48 not out) and Tim Debenham (27) got the visitors off to a great start with a first-wicket partnership of 55.

But once that partnership had ended, wickets fell rather regularly but Thacker's unbeaten contribution of 12 helped see the visitors home in the 50th over, with two wickets to spare.

Colchester's second XI host Harold Wood, on Saturday.