Essex Premier Division: South Woodford captain Joe Craddock happy with preparating for crucial clash against Chingford

PUBLISHED: 14:00 01 July 2016

South Woodford captain Joe Craddock (pic: Graham Hodges)

South Woodford captain Joe Craddock (pic: Graham Hodges)


Skipper does not care how win comes, as long as it does

South Woodford captain Joe Craddock knows Saturday’s Essex League Premier Division clash at Chingford will go a long way to deciding who is relegated at the end of the season.

Both clubs head into the weekend’s meeting in the bottom two, with South Woodford still propping up the standings despite recording a first league win this year against Shenfield last time out.

But a win this weekend would see the Highfield Road club move above Chingford in the table and Craddock is fully aware it is an important time of the season for South Woodford.

“It’s a real 40-pointer and whoever loses on Saturday is going to find it tough to get out of the relegation battle,” said the skipper.

“We knew this run of fixtures in the 50-over matches would be big for us and it’s a run that could change our season.

“I don’t even have to say how big it is because we all know that. Chingford will be up for it, but so will we and it’s a game we’re looking forward too.”

South Woodford will be keen to make the most of Chingford’s struggles with the bat, with their hosts on Saturday having scored more than 200 just twice in the league this season.

And with Harry Shirt having picked up a five-for last time out for South Woodford, Craddock knows he has the bowlers to increase Chingford’s woes.

“We’ll be looking to go at them from the off, but they still have some good batsmen and have shown they’re a good side,” added Cradock.

But South Woodford have also not been without their batting struggles, with Craddock and Peter Lazarus the only men to have hit at least a half-century in their last five matches.

There have been promising starts, however, that have not been converted into big scores and Craddock knows that has to change if South Woodford are to avoid the drop to Division One.

“We’ve had lots of 20s and 30s this season and we know we can’t afford any more collapses like we’ve had a few times this year,” he added.

“Young layers like Jamie Carroll and Bradley Copper have come in and done well, but they have to kick on now and turn their 30s and 40s into 70s, 80s or even centuries.”

Elsewhere, divisional rivals Ilford travel to Shenfield looking to end a seven-game winless run. The Valentines Park club were thwarted by the rain last time as their clash with Colchester was abandoned.

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