Ardleigh Green dreaming of great escape

PUBLISHED: 15:30 24 July 2015

Chris Cook in batting action for Ardleigh Green (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Chris Cook in batting action for Ardleigh Green (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

Cook celebrates first win of season

Ardleigh Green captain Chris Cook is hoping his side can pull off a great escape from relegation after opening their Essex League Division Two account in stunning fashion.

Green had lost eight of their first 10 matches and sat rooted to the bottom of the table as they visited Harlow Town, who then piled up 306-7 runs.

But, remarkably, Green reached their target with six wickets and three overs to spare, thanks largely to a superb unbeaten 137 from long-serving Paul Hurworth and Cook said: “Hopefully the great escape is on and we can get a few more wins to get us up the league table.

“Hopefully it’s the turning point we need to kick on. We’ve been close in other matches, there’s been a couple we should’ve won, but getting over the line has been a problem.”

Cook (3-42) and Ayaz Younis (2-55) had the most success with the ball as the home side set a challenging target.

But Green, whose best score this summer had been 244 against Wickford, made a bright start in reply and Hurworth kept them in the hunt.

Cook added: “In all the years I’ve played with Paul, and we’ve played together since we were 10, so that’s 18 years, it’s the best knock I’ve seen from him.”

Green closed the gap on fellow strugglers Stanford, but have only seven matches to save themselves from the drop, starting against Leigh at Central Park tomorrow (Saturday).

“The away match at Leigh was a bad day at the office, but nobody stands out in this league. It’s who turns up on the day,” said Cook.

“We gave Fives a good run and they’re top of the league. Chris Haylett is back which will strengthen us up a bit, but otherwise it’s pretty much the same team as before.”

Cook admits it has been difficult finding any consistency this season, due to player availability, and acknowledges Dean Waller as Leigh’s dangerman.

But he is staying positive, adding: “It’s been hard trying to get the same team out every week, but the atmosphere has been good, even when we’ve been losing.

“It was even better on Saturday as it’s been a bit of a burden not getting over the line in games.

“Waller is still dangerous, but it’s a one-ball game. Hopefully we can get him out early and see what happens.”

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