Cricket: Gidea Park skipper Jamal Francis knows positive result at Billericay is best way to avoid drop
PUBLISHED: 09:00 08 September 2017
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With teams below them in relegation zone meeting on final day, Park need good points haul at promotion hopefuls
Jamal Francis admits Gidea Park & Romford are under pressure to get a good result against Billericay in Essex League Division One on Saturday, with the two teams directly below them meeting on the final day.
Park head into the last weekend of the season 17 points clear of South Woodford and Harlow, who are both in the relegation zone and face off on Saturday.
That likely means one of Park’s relegation rivals may get a win that could see them leapfrog Francis’ men on the final day of the season.
But the Park skipper knows the best way to avoid that scenario is by claiming victory themselves at promotion-chasing Billericay.
“Both Harlow and South Woodford have nothing to lose so will attack the game more, so I expect one will win rather than it end in a draw,” he said.
“We can’t rely on results elsewhere going our way, we know the best way to stay up is to do it ourselves.
“Against Billericay, it’s a case of us executing our plan. Hopefully it comes together and we’re where we want to be come Saturday evening.”
Park could have secured safety last weekend with a win at local rivals Harold Wood, but instead slumped to a disappointing 119-run defeat.
Chasing 230 to win, Park were all out for just 110 in reply with a knock of 30 from opener Kasi Hoq their top score.
Despite the defeat, one positive for Park to take was the display of Francis with the ball, as he took 5-33 in the Wood innings and will want to continue that form this weekend.
But while he is only too happy to help in any way he can, the all-rounder admits he is somewhat surprised as to how his role in the bowling line-up has changed this term.
“We’ve changed the attack a bit this season, so if you had said I’d be opening the bowling at the start, I wouldn’t have believed you,” he added.
“We all have to muck in and do our bit, and hopefully that spirit continues against Billericay.
“We all have our own jobs to do and hopefully we can carry them out well enough on Saturday.”
Should it all come together for Park this weekend, they will hopefully be celebrating on Saturday night.
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