COLCHESTER and East Essex were beaten by 115 runs in their latest Hamro Foundation Essex League match.

Darren Eckford's side lost out to Belhus at the Village Green, in their first XI premier division clash.

After losing the toss, Colchester were asked to field first and they came up against a home side in great batting form.

Belhus opening pair Dan Joyce (50) and Md Aminul Islam Shihan (31) put on a 57-run partnership, for the first wicket.

And even after Shihan departed, Dan Joyce and Joe Joyce (78) put on a partnership of their own worthy of 93, as the hosts piled on the runs.

Feroze Ahmed did manage to remove Shane Barwick for a duck but Joe Joyce and Max Osborne (60 not out) produced a fourth-wicket partnership of 78, to keep the visitors at bay.

Belhus eventually finished on 246 for four in their 45 overs, with skipper Eckford finishing with 2-50 in his eight overs.

In reply, Colchester knew that they had a tough task to reach their target of 247 to win.

Each of their five top-order batsman made it into double figures, with Ben Robinson top scoring for the visitors with 34 from 68 balls faced.

There were some encouraging partnerships formed but wickets were regularly taken by Belhus, making it difficult for Colchester's batsmen to gain the momentum they were looking for.

Colchester quickly went from 46 for three to 73 for seven and despite Denson Narayan's 13 near the end, they were dismissed for 131 in 34.3 overs.

Colchester will be hoping to bounce back when they visit Chingford, this weekend.

Colchester's second XI lost by 71 runs against Gidea Park and Romford at Castle Park, in Second XI division one.

After electing to bat first, Gidea Park and Romford made 276 for four, in their 40 overs.

The main highlight of the visitors' innings was a knock of 116 by Adam Thain, while Michael Pegram hit 75.

Colchester were set a target of 277 to win and got off to a solid start, with openers Jamie McCarroll (17) and Rahul Viswanath (18) putting on 34 for the first wicket.

Tim Debenham (72 not out) and M Griffin (53) later put on an excellent middle-order partnership worth 113 but it was to no avail, as the home side reached 205 for six in their 40 overs.

Colchester's second XI host Billericay at Castle Park, on Saturday.