Essex League Division One: Jon Gaffney’s Woodford Wells seeking to conquer high-flying new boys Colchester and East Essex at Castle Park

PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 June 2018

Woodford Wells players congratulate George Ellis (centre) after he claims a wicket  (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Woodford Wells players congratulate George Ellis (centre) after he claims a wicket (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

After two victories last weekend, the Monkhams Lane club make the long trip to Castle Park on Saturday brimming with confidence

Woodford Wells make the long trip to Colchester and East Essex this weekend in positive spirits according to skipper Jon Gaffney.

The Monkhams Lane club have not lost in all competitions since May 19 away to Harold Wood and have put together a four-match unbeaten run since.

Last weekend, Wells triumphed by five wickets at home to Orsett & Thurrock in the Essex League Division One before securing an 82-run victory at South Woodford in the League Cup second round.

Ahead of visiting Colchester’s Castle Park, a ground regularly used by Essex CCC between 1914 and 2016, Gaffney said: “It is an ex-county venue so a beautiful place to play cricket.

“It is a bit of a journey, that is always fun from Woodford, but it will be a great game and hopefully the weather holds out because it is always good going up there.

“We haven’t played Colchester for a while, so it will be nice. I am sure we will have a strong side and we are beginning to be at full strength and starting to get on a bit of a roll now results wise.”

The Essex League format also switches now all-day cricket to 50-over matches and Wells got some perfect practise on Sunday at South Woodford.

Gaffney is positive the victory in the Essex League Cup will set them up for an excellent couple of months – starting at Colchester on Saturday.

He added: “I am hoping this will be us for the season and we have the nine 50-over games now and this is the difference between relegation and promotion.

“If you win six or seven of the 50-over games then you are in with a shout of promotion, but if you only win three you are likely looking at a relegation battle. The league looks as tight as anything, so it’s an important period.”

As mentioned, Wells will head into this change of format with form on their side after two good wins at the weekend.

On Saturday, they managed to restrict Orsett to 215-8 from 50 overs with Nigel Holmes picked up 3-46 and Tanveer Shah taking 2-61 from 16 overs.

Wicket-keeper Joe Johnson led the chase with 61 at the top of the order as Wells got home with lots of time to spare and they built on this victory on Sunday.

Shah smashed a 95-ball 133 not out as the visitors post 360-7 from their 50 overs in the second round tie and Gareth James’ 3-39 helped dismiss South Woodford for 278.

Gaffney said: “It was a really good weekend. We are up to fourth in the league now, so that’s important.

“We have Colchester away next and we know they are going to be a good side having just been relegated, so it should be interesting.

“Hopefully we can kick on after the performances during the last weekend against Orsett and South Woodford where we did well with both bat and ball.”

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