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Cricket: Jamal Francis says Gidea Park & Romford must learn from mistakes ahead of hosting Upminster in Shepherd Neame Essex League Division One

PUBLISHED: 14:00 17 May 2018

Jamal Francis in batting action for Gidea Park & Romford (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Jamal Francis in batting action for Gidea Park & Romford (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

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

GPR beaten by 32 runs at Hutton last weekend

Jamal Francis hopes Gidea Park & Romford have learned from their mistakes in a disappointing opening day defeat ahead of hosting Upminster in Shepherd Neame Essex League Division One on Saturday.

GPR opened their league season last weekend with a 32-run defeat at Hutton, which was in part down to a batting collapse.

Being in a seemingly good position at 110-4 chasing 155 to win, Park lost their final six wickets for just 12 runs.

It was a devastating way for GPR to begin the league season, but Francis believes it could prove to be a positive in the long run.

“I said to the boys I was happy to have this kind of thing happen at the start of the season because it will serve as a wake-up call to the squad,” said the skipper.

“Hutton came up last season and beat us, so we’re now fully aware that anyone can beat anyone in this division.

“The aim remains the same for us in the opening weeks of the season, we know we have to get points on the board early on and that comes by winning games.”

GPR will have been gutted to lose to Hutton, especially after performing so well with the ball.

The hosts were restricted to 154-7 in their innings, with Sam Hewitt recording figures of 5-38 with the ball for Park.

It was the second Saturday in a row that Hewitt claimed a five-wicket haul, having ended with figures of 5-18 in a 13-run friendly win at Westcliff-on-Sea the previous week.

Francis is unsurprisingly delighted with Hewitt’s current form and hopes the bowler can maintain it against Upminster.

“Sam has got 10 wickets in two weeks. He’s bowling well and pushing the ball through quicker than he ever has before,” he added.

“He seems to be in a really good rhythm at the moment, so the key for us to keep him fresh.”

As for that game against Upminster, GPR remain on the lookout for their first league win of the season and Francis hopes that comes with bragging rights.

“The game against Upminster is our first home game of the season and we’re raring to go,” he said.

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