Woodford Green hope to put disappointing finish behind them
PUBLISHED: 16:00 09 May 2019
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Hamaad Sayyed's team enjoyed some success last season, but hope to finish in the promotion places this year
Woodford Green will aim to be involved in the battle for promotion in Shepherd Neame Division Three this season.
One of the oldest clubs in the country - formed in 1735 - will look to build on a fourth-place finish achieved last year.
Hamaad Sayyed's men were one of several sides hoping to win the title and promotion during the previous term, but they fell away at the end.
Four wins in a row during July and August had Green on course for second, yet they failed to win any of their final four fixtures.
Defeats to Ardleigh Green and Old Brentwoods, plus a draw at Epping, all but ended their promotion pursuit and a final-day loss to Walthamstow saw them finish in fourth.
Woodford were 50 points off second-placed Benfleet, so it shows the fine margins which make the difference in the upper echelons come the business end of the season.
After a good winter, where the Green hosted a NatWest CricketForce Day and saw an electronic scoreboard and all-weather surface installed, they will attempt to do even better in 2019.
Sayyed's team started the competitive campaign with a defeat in the League Cup first round to Fives & Heronians, but were always expected to struggle against Division One opponents.
The captain hit 31 at the top of the order and put on 66 for the first wicket alongside Hussnain Kazmi, who scored 47 from 57 balls.
But unfortunately only Samir Mohammed also made it into double figures as Green were dismissed for 121.
It was light work for Fives, but Sayyed (1-23) and Chris Masters (1-9) picked up scalps to ensure it wasn't completely plain-sailing for the visitors.
The eight-wicket defeat was not an ideal start, but there are plenty of positives for the club and Green will run an All Stars Cricket programme this summer for five to eight-year-olds alongside their already successful colts.
The eight-week course will start on Saturday, May 11 and run until Saturday, June 29 and the club will hope to get more local youngsters into the sport.
What would also help is for them to see a successful first team on the pitch and that is what Sayyed will be striving for this season.