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Cricket: Craig Perrin hopeful Harold Wood can start new Shepherd Neame Essex League Division One season with win at rivals Upminster

PUBLISHED: 17:00 11 May 2018

Harold Wood players celebrate a wicket against Billericay (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Harold Wood players celebrate a wicket against Billericay (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Wood suffered defeat at Billericay in the Dukes Essex League Cup second round last weekend

Harold Wood skipper Craig Perrin believes victory over Upminster on the opening day of the Shepherd Neame Essex Legaue Division One season would be a huge statement of intent.

The two borough of Havering rivals meet on the opening day of the season in what is sure to be a thrilling encounter at Upminster Park.

And both will be looking to begin their campaign in perfect fashion with a win on Saturday.

With Perrin believing both sides will challenge for promotion this term, the wicket-keeper feels a victory for either team on the opening day could be crucial.

“Upminster are our rivals. They suffered relegation from the Premier Division last season, so I expect they will be strong and challenging near the top this season,” he said.

“It’s a tough start to the season for us, but if we can get a positive result, we can use it as a springboard for success this season.

“The aim for us is to get promoted this season and if we can start the season with a win over our rivals, it’s a good start.”

Harold Wood suffered a defeat in the first round of the Essex League Cup last weekend, losing by 207 runs at home to Premier Division new boys Billericay.

After winning the toss, Perrin put his opponents into the field, but saw the visitors amass a total of 276-7.

There were some positives signs with the ball for Harold Wood, with both Shahbaz Khan (2-52) and Wasim Khalid (2-50) taking two wickets apiece.

In reply, the hosts were all out for just 69 with only Hafiz Afzal (20), Perrin (19) and Mohammed Fahad (16) making double figures.

Wood will be hoping to avoid similar struggles when they start their league campaign and Perrin admits the defeat in the cup was a disappointing final warm-up game for his team ahead of the new league term.

“The performance wasn’t good at all. It was the first game of the season for a lot of the squad, but we can’t be looking to use that as an excuse,” he added.

“Billericay outplayed us. I felt we did well with the ball, but our fielding and batting was not that great.

“We had some new faces in the team for the game and it was nice to get them involved. Hopefully we’ve shaken off any ring rust now.”

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