Essex League Division One: Woodford Wells captain Jon Gaffney expecting close contest with Belhus in league opener
PUBLISHED: 17:00 09 May 2018
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The all-rounder looks ahead to the Division One opener and discusses the need for the batsmen at the club to show more maturity in 2018
Jon Gaffney feels Woodford Wells will get a good idea of how much they’ve improved over the winter when they start their new Essex League Division One campaign at home to Belhus on Saturday.
The two clubs finished sixth and seventh last year with Wells ending up on 194 points – six fewer than Belhus.
Wells held the Essex club to a draw in the first meeting in 2017 on June 3, but Belhus won the second clash on August 5 by five wickets with eight balls to spare.
It shows the closeness of the two teams, but Gaffney is hoping Woodford’s additions over the winter will give his side the edge this weekend.
He said: “Belhus are a fairly similar side to us in a lot of ways and it will be interesting to see where we are compared to them.
“I felt we had some good games last year and we are two teams who will probably be in a similar position come the end of the season.
“Saturday will be an interesting barometer to see where we are and where we have got to with the additions we’ve made over the winter.”
Wells managed to begin the new campaign with a win last weekend as they defeated Division Three outfit Benfleet by 60 runs in the first round of the Essex League Cup.
Gaffney’s team batted first and he top scored with 119 – his maiden hundred – in a total of 259-9 from 50 overs.
Benfleet made a good fist of the chase, but were all out for 199 with Christopher Hall impressing with the ball to take 4-42.
The Wells captain is now hoping the opening ton of the season for the team is the first of many, he said: “This year someone is going to have to take responsibility in every game and get runs.
“If you look at the top of the order, there are plenty of players capable. I also need to look at myself. Last year I didn’t do it nearly as often as I would have liked, so I need to step up and get some runs and hold the innings together.
“It is also about losing wickets and too often last year we had a partnership set, but we would lose both players in quick succession, so it is about being a little bit more mature out on the pitch. If we lose a wicket, someone needs to take over and make sure they stick around.”
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