The Gold Standard
PUBLISHED: 16:00 13 May 2015
Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League
Blogger Nick Ison looks at Upminster’s chances in 2015
Team: Upminster 1st XI
Last Season: Relegated from the Premier League.
2015 Prediction: A mid-table finish in Division One would be a good season for this young team.
The four spinners should come into effect in the timed games on a dry and cracked Upminster pitch and the team should do better in the one-day format, but will be prone to the odd collapse.
There will not be many teams with a better collection of beards than the current 1st XI.
Key Player: A fit and firing Alan Ison will be crucial to Upminster’s season. If he can score runs as quickly as he got engaged, Upminster’s games will last shorter than the Grillax Lounge did.
Young Star: Will Chuter showed his promise last year by dating the tea lady. Now he is making the step up to the 1st XI. He should prosper with more playing time at Upminster Park.
Sponge Power odds: Paul Middlemiss to make a 1st XI return with the gloves (9/1).
Team: Upminster 2nd XI
Last Season: Finished third in their first year back in the Premier League.
2015 Prediction: Improvement on last season’s third-place finish would be outstanding; they could have a chance of winning the league.
While capable of beating the stronger teams in the league, they are just as likely to slip up against the bottom teams so need to improve on this Pakistan-esque form.
You can bet your mortgage on the 2nd XI getting bowled out once this year by a 50-plus spinner.
Key Player: Top order runs will be crucial from James Evans.
Young Star: After school commitments have finished, Louis Pickering will partner James Evans in the tallest partnership outside the NBA.
Sponge Power odds: Kabir Ali to make an appearance for the 2nd XI (30/1).
Team: Upminster 3rd XI
Last Season: A second place pennant for Paul Middlemiss in his final year as skipper.
2015 Prediction: Mark D’Cruz takes over as captain this season and will continue the infamous spirit of the 3rd XI.
If their batting improves, they could challenge Chelmsford.
Sales of dried apricots and baked beans will sky-rocket in the Upminster area to aid Bobby Mack’s fielding prowess.
Expect Max Carter-Miller to wear the Red Jacket for most of the season (given to the ‘dud of the day’ each Saturday).
Key Player: If he doesn’t spend his Friday nights sending drunk videos in the street singing Take That songs, Mark D’Cruz will take the new-ball wickets. Young Star: Oliver White is certain to follow in his brother’s footsteps and shadow-bat all over 3rd XI grounds.
Sponge Power odds: Will Murphy to win the infamous Red Jacket (25/1).