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Derby delight for South Woodford

13:00 05 June 2014

South Woodford face the camera before their derby with Ilford (pic: Graham Hodges)

South Woodford face the camera before their derby with Ilford (pic: Graham Hodges)

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Shirt happier with latest performance

South Woodford recovered excellently from their humiliating defeat against Upminster to smash Ilford in an Essex League Premier Division derby.

Having gone the whole of last season unbeaten at home, South Woodford were stunned to be defeated by Upminster on their own turf, but they got back to winning ways as they overcame neighbours Ilford by 89 runs.

Having welcomed five players back into the fold, captain Harry Shirt was relieved to get the first win of the season and impressed with his side’s reaction.

“The bowling performance was perfect,” he said. “It was important myself and Garry Neicho bowled really tight at the top, we took some early wickets and they were well behind on the run rate once we had bowled out.”

Shirt was also delighted with the batting performances of Michael Gymer and Kevin Sargent who he praised for their different approaches.

Gymer’s patience allowed the other batters freedom whilst Sargent’s attack gave the team great momentum. James Malin’s helpful versatility was also applauded.

In terms of those coming back into the side, Shirt selected Essex batsman Nick Browne for particular praise, adding: “It’s great to have Nick back amongst the team.

“He leads from the front with the bat and does his fair share with the ball also. He breeds a lot of confidence in the team, so hopefully it can stay that way as we get into the deep end of the season.”

The shaky start to the new campaign sees South Woodford sitting third from bottom, just one place above Loughton who they travel to on Saturday.

“It will be a tough game,” said Shirt. “It’s crucial we take points against teams around us in the league and also that we improve on our disappointing away form of last season.”

South Woodford kept faith in the group who had delivered in previous rounds of the National Cup and opted to field a very young side against an experienced Waltham team on Sunday.

But Waltham’s older players proved too much for the youngsters in the regional semi-final and Shirt said: “I thought we had done a superb job to keep them to 211 but sadly the batting didn’t support our efforts in the field.

“They bowled very well but we were too respectful towards them.”

Cup disappointment aside, South Woodford will be pleased to have their league campaign back on track and all eyes now turn to Loughton to see if they can continue their recovery.

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