Essex Premier Division: South Woodford Cricket Club Joe Craddock excited to finally get going against Wanstead

PUBLISHED: 18:00 19 May 2016

South Woodford captain Joe Craddock (pic: Graham Hodges)

South Woodford captain Joe Craddock (pic: Graham Hodges)


Wicket-keeper can’t wait for rivals clash

Joe Craddock will finally get the chance to lead South Woodford in the Essex League Premier Division as they visit Wanstead this weekend.

Craddock took over the club captaincy in the close season, but has missed the first two games of the year through suspension.

In his absence, the team has been led by Richard Browne, who oversaw an opening-day draw at Brentwood and a home loss to Ilford last time out.

Craddock, though, will lead the side at Overton Drive and is eagerly anticipating his first league game as captain.

“It’s been a frustrating time watching on from the side during the first two games. I’m champing at the bit to get out there,” said the wicket-keeper.

“I was gutted to miss the first two games of the season, but I’m really excited to get out there and lead the team in the league.”

South Woodford will be hoping to do better in their latest derby than they did against Ilford at Valentines Park.

Harry Shirt took three wickets early on as Ilford looked to be in trouble on 65-3, before kicking on to post 216.

In reply, the hosts were never able to get going, before being bowled out for 118, with Peter Lazarus (34) top scoring.

But Craddock is confident there will be improvements from the team this weekend, believing the Wanstead fixture will provide extra motivation.

“It’s one of the toughest games in the division and there’s no love lost between the two sides,” added Craddock.

“We know what we are capable of, having drawn at Brentwood already this season, and we have to show a similar level of fight as we did in that game.

“We’ll be going to Wanstead desperate for the win and we know what we are capable of if we perform well.”

On their last visit to Overton Drive, South Woodford were involved in a thrilling low-scoring game.

South Woodford looked to be well on their way to a hiding having been reduced to 16-5 in that fixture, with four of their first five batsmen going for ducks, including Craddock.

Their lower-order performed heroically, though, to take the total up to 114, before the bowlers nearly snatched an unlikely win.

Wanstead were able to triumph by just one wicket, but Craddock knows that display offers South Woodford reasons for optimism before this weekend’s clash.

“We have those good displays in us, which makes it frustrating at times, but we have to remember we’re a very young side,” he said

“On that day, we were bowled out for a low score, so we had to defend it and we almost did, Wanstead were 99-8 at one stage. We’re fully aware of the quality Wanstead have, but we know on our day we can be a match for anybody in this division.

“Most of our players, though, are under 25 which means it is going to be tough at times and we need more experienced players to keep stepping up.”

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