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Harold Wood ‘have come a long way’

12:00 13 June 2014

Harold Wood players celebrate the run out of Wanstead's Saf Imtiaz (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Harold Wood players celebrate the run out of Wanstead's Saf Imtiaz (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Clarke reflects on loss at Wanstead

Although Harold Wood lost out against reigning Essex League Premier Division champions Wanstead last weekend, skipper Tom Clarke believes it shows how far his side have come.

Wood bowled the hosts out for just 134 as Shabhaz Khan (5-35) led the way with the new ball and was ably backed up by Hamza Ikram (2-59) and Sarfraz Ahmed 
(2-16).

But the visitors fell short in reply as they were dismissed for just 103, with Ikram (40) and Colin Sher (32) the top scorers.

Although disappointed not to pull off the scalp, Clarke feels his side can be very proud of their achievements.

“It was a little disappointing to fall short, but I am quite proud that we pushed them that close,” he said.

“A few years ago we were in Division Two and they were wining the league.

“It’s a loss but it’s a big step for us. They celebrated that last wicket in quite a big way. Being in that position is half the battle.”

The challenges keep on coming for Wood though as they now face another top side in Chelmsford tomorrow (saturday), and Clarke admits it will be key to try and thwart their heavy scoring.

“It’s another tough one and they keep coming,” he added. “They are certainly scoring a lot of runs at the moment and we’ll have to be at our best to try and stem that aspect of their game.

“But if we can all stick together as a team then we’ll be all right. We’ll be missing a few players, but the ones that are coming in are more than capable of doing a job and hopefully we can come away with another success.”

The second team made it back-to-back wins with a four-wicket success against West Essex, who slumped from 110-2 to 142 all out thanks to Luke Hammatt (5-25) and Zohran Afzal (3-10).

An unbeaten 74 from Sri Mangalapally helped Wood pick up the win.

The third team drew with Southend, who were dismissed for 178 with the wickets shared amongst the Wood bowlers.

Wood struggled to score runs in the reply and just hung for the draw, finishing on 101-9.

The fourths also drew with Upminster having declared on 250-6 after skipper Geoff Smith (67) and long-term absentee Darren Ellis (47) piled on the runs.

Upminster were never in contention in reply, but despite three wickets for Andrew Mortimer and two for Murugesh Mohanasundharam Wood could not finish the job as the opposition ended on 148-8.

Sam McFadyen took 3-16 with the ball in helping the fifths skittle Stanford out for 89.

And Kenton Hartwell (34) and an unbeaten 18 from Zoe Quested saw Wood to an eight-wicket win in reply.

Wood’s under-15 girls won their Lady Taverners Cup tie against Greenwich on Sunday.

After piling up 154-3, they restricted their rivals to just 59-7 in reply.

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