Essex Premier Division: South Woodford captain Joe Craddock wants derby with Ilford to inspire side to success

PUBLISHED: 11:00 15 July 2016

South Woodford captain Joe Craddock (pic: Graham Hodges)

South Woodford captain Joe Craddock (pic: Graham Hodges)


Skipper calls on team to give it everything in search of vital success

South Wooodford’s Joe Craddock hopes Saturday’s Essex League Premier Division derby away to Ilford will see the club raise their game as they bid for just a second win of the season.

With 10 games gone in the season and just eight remaining, the Highfield Road club prop up the table and already find themselves 34 points adrift of safety.

Ilford, meanwhile, occupy a spot in the security of mid-table having recorded four wins so far and remain on course to retain their spot in the top flight next season.

Form, however, often goes out of the window in a derby match and Craddock hopes that works in South Woodford’s favour, calling on the team to give it their all to win at Valentines Park this weekend.

“Ilford are doing well and look quite comfortable at the minute, so we know it’s going to be a tough game, but it’s a derby so we’re all excited,” said the skipper.

“It should be a good game for both sides and we want to give a good account of ourselves.

“Games against Ilford and Wanstead, your local rivals, always seem to bring out a little more in terms of performance so hopefully that’s the case on Saturday.”

When the sides met earlier in the season, it was Ilford who came out on top as they recorded successive wins in the Premier Division for the only time this season.

They have a chance to match that on Saturday following a win over Chingford last weekend, but despite that previous loss at home to their rivals in May, there were positives on the day for South Woodford in the form of bowlers Harry Shirt and Simon Correya.

Both bowlers took three wickets as South Woodford checked Ilford’s

ultimately successful run chase at Highfield Road.

And Craddock believes his attack can impress once again this weekend at Valentines Park as South Woodford go in search of a vital league victory.

“It can be a bit of a dry pitch at Ilford so hopefully it will be the kind of conditions that the likes of Harry Shirt and Garry Neicho will enjoy bowling in,” he added.

“Ilford have a few good spinners and might have (Essex’s) Ashar Zaidi in their squad, so they are a good team and bat deep too.

“We’re looking to fight for everything this weekend and hopefully when we bowl we can get some early wickets to set us on our way.”

South Woodford were graced last weekend by the presence of Essex opener Nick Browne (right), who hit 109 at the top of the order in an

eight-wicket defeat to Brentwood.

The 25-year-old started his career with the Highfield Road club, where he impressed enough to be picked by the county selectors.

Browne was also back on Sunday afternoon as the club held the first Presidents’ Day of Norman Reynolds’ tenure in the role.

He was joined at South Woodford by Essex team-mates Jamie Porter, Ryan ten Doeschate and Daniel Lawrence, while fellow Eagle Matt Quinn, who used to play for the club, took part in a T20 match.

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