Cricket: Jamal Francis urges Gidea Park to keep momentum going with success against Buckhurst Hill in Essex Division One

PUBLISHED: 15:00 26 May 2017

Gidea Park walk off at the end of the South Woodford innings (pic: Graham Hodges)

Gidea Park walk off at the end of the South Woodford innings (pic: Graham Hodges)


Park picked up first l;eague win of season last time out, and captain wants them to build on it

Skipper Jamal Francis has challenged Gidea Park to build on their opening Essex Division One victory last weekend by following it up with another success at home to Buckhurst Hill tomorrow (Saturday).

Park recorded a two-wicket win away to South Woodford last weekend, with Francis hitting a half-century in the successful chase having earlier taken three wickets with the ball.

And the all-rounder knows GPR must now use that triumph as the platform for having a successful season and maintain their momentum by beating Buckhurst Hill.

“We learnt a lot from the South Woodford game and we know we can still improve,” said Francis.

“We’re back at home this weekend against a Buckhurst Hill tram who have been up and down, but we’re expecting a good game and know we can come out on top.”

If Park are to triumph this weekend, they will have to be wary of Buckhurst Hill bowler Luke Martin, who took eight wickets in a losing cause against Woodford Wells last week.

Francis admits all teams in the division have dangermen, but it is down to GPR to impose themselves on the opposition in a bid to nullify their threats and pick up important wins.

“We’re under no illusions about the quality that there is in this league and there are people to look out for in every team,” he added.

“We know we have to play smart and play to our strengths, it’s going to be a tight league so every point will be vital.”

This weekend will see the second match in a row in which Park have played a team relegated from the Premier Division last season.

And Francis believes it is better to play those teams early on in the season while they are still trying to find their feet in a new division.

“Like South Woodford, Buckhurst Hill might still be adjusting after relegation last season,” he added.

“It’s going to be a very even league this year and I can’t call any game as a win or a loss. All teams will be fighting from now until the end.”

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