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Essex League Division Two: South Woodford captain Joe Craddock backing team to deliver promotion

PUBLISHED: 17:00 13 June 2018

South Woodford captain Joe Craddock (pic: Graham Hodges)

South Woodford captain Joe Craddock (pic: Graham Hodges)

Archant

After a mixed five weeks of the 2018 campaign, the Highfield Road club are confident they will enjoy more success in the 50-over games

Joe Craddock believes South Woodford can challenge for promotion this season in the Essex League Division Two, but called on his young side to learn from their mistakes.

The Highfield Road club are eighth in the table after relegation last year, but only 13 points off second-placed Leigh-on-Sea heading into the change of format.

After five weeks of all-day cricket, the next nine games will be 50-over matches and Craddock is confident his team can return to winning ways after a three-wicket loss at Fives and Heronians on June 2 and a home draw with Loughton last weekend.

He said: “We are still a similar side to last year, but with the addition of Henry (Blackwell) we do hope to push on.

“We should have won the weekend before last. It was a very disappointing result against Fives because we were better than that and the toss proved crucial, so that killed us.

“On Saturday when you are 100-2 with myself and Henry at the crease chasing 200 with 22 overs to go, I fancied us big time, so we still have a lot to learn.

“We are quite a young and naïve side because we seem to lose a cluster of wickets and if we can stop that it will go a long way to us winning a lot more games.

“I would still back our boys to get us out of the division and hopefully I will be proved right.”

South Woodford didn’t win last weekend, but produced an encouraging display at home to leaders Loughton.

The visitors were dismissed for 201 with Indika Wickramaretne taking 4-24 and Garry Neicho claiming 2-48.

In reply, South Woodford looked on course for success, but when Blackwell went for 42 and Craddock (32) followed soon after, they struggled and had to bat out for a draw in the last few overs as they finished on 180-7.

“It does seem a decent draw, but I was disappointed if I am honest,” said Craddock on the Loughton result.

“Vibhor Yadav got 68 for them and he has scored a lot of their runs this year and I think a lot of the sides at this level rely on three or four cricketers and if we can get through them then we can run a lot of tails out.

“If you look at the table, it is very similar to last year in Division One because there are 13 points between us and second, so I did say to the guys Saturday was a decent draw considering the players Loughton have got to pick from compared to our pool of players.”

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