Brentwood captain West says they can't take Southend lightly

PUBLISHED: 16:00 11 May 2018

Aaron West of Brentwood hits out (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Aaron West of Brentwood hits out (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Brentwood Cricket Club captain Aaron West says they can't take Southend-on-Sea lightly in their opening Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division fixture this weekend, writes Jacob Ranson.

West and his men travel to Southchurch Park on Saturday (11am) as both sides look to start the 2018 season with a win.

Brentwood finished third last year, behind champions Chelmsford and Wanstead, but feel they let the title slip out of their grasp, while Southend finished down in eighth place and just remained in the Premier Division.

And new skipper West feels despite their opponents struggling last season they should expect a strong outfit when they meet this weekend.

“I know their captain Tom Phillipe quite welle as he used to play at Brentwood, so I think from speaking to him I know they’ve recruited a few but I still think they’re again looking to survive,” said West.

“I think they were competitive with a few of the big sides last year and they’re still a team to look out for. No one is a walkover in this league.”

West is keen for his side to get off to a strong start and not run into the same problems they have had in the last few seasons which has left them chasing down the league leaders.

“Our issue has always been in previous years we struggle with availability for the first six weeks with a few schoolboys and teachers as they’re not always available so getting off to a good start is always handy for us,” he added.

“We don’t want to be trying to pull back points later in the season.”

They go into their opening league fixture on the back of an emphatic eight-wicket victory against Division Three outfit Ardleigh Green in the first round of the Dukes Essex League Cup.

Brentwood bowled Lloyd Edward’s men out for 88 and raced to their target with little alarm.

James Redwood (37 not out) and Essex youngster Rishi Patel (45 not out) were the two stand-out performers in the tie, after Guy Balmford and Tom Oakley had both fallen cheaply.

Former captain Joe Buttleman picked up four wickets, with slow left-arm er Ian Belchamber getting three and former Essex staffer Thomas Moore also claiming three victims on the day.

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