Essex League Division One: Jon Gaffney confident Woodford Wells will come of age and impress in 2018

PUBLISHED: 11:00 11 May 2018

Jon Gaffney in bowling action for Woodford Wells (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Jon Gaffney in bowling action for Woodford Wells (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

The Monkhams Lane outfit struggled to kick on after a strong start last season, but optimism is rife ahead of the new campaign

After spending a large chunk of 2017 near the top of the Essex League Division One table Jon Gaffney was disappointed Woodford Wells finished seventh, but knows where they must improve this year.

The Monkhams Lane club were unbeaten after five games last season, but when the format switched to 50-over cricket, they lost five of their next eight fixtures between June 17 and August 5.

It was this period which proved costly, but Gaffney is confident they can learn from their past mistakes.

He said: “I was disappointed to fall away last season. We started off really well, but didn’t win enough of the 50-over games.

“We know that is something we have to try and improve this year and we have a few new players involved, so that should help.”

Gaffney will be hoping the recent additions can deliver throughout the 2018 term.

One person he is excited about in particular is Hywel Jones, who has joined after a successful campaign with Steyning CC in the Sussex Premier Cricket League Division Four.

After scoring over 500 league runs in 2017, Jones then went to Australia in the winter and Gaffney has been very impressed with the new recruit, adding: “Hywel got quite a few runs last year.

“He then went to Australia in the winter and played over there, so he looks a very decent player and could certainly help us out when it comes to batting this season.

“We’ve also got some of the other more familiar faces still at the club and Gareth James will be around throughout the year, so that’s great.”

One of the areas where Wells struggled last term was in the batting department with overseas batsman Mitch McGee their top run-getter with 651 league runs.

Apart from him, no other player went over the 500-mark with Tanveer Shah (412) and Joe Johnson (379) the next best for Gaffney’s team.

“Runs are the important thing for us,” admitted Gaffney. “Someone, myself included, has to step up and get runs because we fell short on too many occasions last year where no one put their hand up and got runs.”

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