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PUBLISHED: 11:34 25 August 2011

Paul Murray in batting action for Hornchurch (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Paul Murray in batting action for Hornchurch (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Crunch time for local clubs

Saturday

SNEL Premier

Hainault v Ardleigh Green

The battle for top-flight survival looks like going down to the wire.

There are two games to go and even third-placed Ilford could still go down.

Realistically it looks like two from five teams for relegation, including these two who find themselves just three points above the drop zone, locked on 171 points.

Chris Cook’s Green held off South Woodford in a rain-affected game for a vital victory last weekend, while Hainault were washed out.

Whoever wins this meeting should be safe. The losers will face a nervous final day of the season.

Division 1

Fives v Hornchurch

Not much more than pride on the line for these two.

Inconsistent Hornchurch ensured their survival last weekend with a crushing win over Gidea Park & Romford, whose own demotion was confirmed by defeat.

And they will be keen to set the record straight after losing by two wickets when these sides met at Harrow Lodge Park in June.

Orsett v Harold Wood

Victory over promotion-chasing Shenfield last weekend kept Wood’s faint survival hopes alive for another week.

But they still have a mountain to climb to avoid a quick return to Division Two.

Trailing Chingford by 32 points they must win this weekend and next, against Fives, while hoping their rivals suffer two heavy defeats.

The odds are stacked against Wood, but it’s not over until it’s over.

Upminster v GP & Romford

Two defeats and a wash-out in their last three matches has seen Upmintser fall off the promotion pace.

They now trail second-placed Shenfield – who they meet in the league cup final at Wanstead on Monday (12.30pm) – by 24 points and have this derby and another against Hornchurch to complete their campaign.

A hat-trick of wins could make it a season to remember for captain Ollie Peck and his men, but for Park it has been a summer to forget after a second successive relegation.

They would no doubt love to end on a high, but have already lost three times to Upminster this year (league, 20-20 and league cup semi-final) and will do well to turn the tables this time.

Essex County Premier

Hornchurch Athletic v May & Baker

It’s last-chance saloon time for Athletic, who will be hoping their 75th anniversary season does not end in relegation.

A crushing defeat at Hawks last weekend leaves them needing to beat Bakers to stay up.

Lose and they will be left hoping they have secured enough bonus points to stay out of the bottom two. So the message is: “don’t lose”.

Mid-Essex Division 3

Havering v East Hanningfield & Great Burstead

Danny Beechey’s batting heroics helped Havering snap a two-game losing streak against South Woodham Ferrers last weekend.

Now for the big one.

Table-topping Hanningfield come to Broxhill Road with a one-point lead over Rayleigh Fairview and Havering seven points adrift in third.

Two of these three teams will go up, but which two?

Rayleigh meet Stock this weekend, then go to Pegasus on the last day of the season, while Hanningfield host Hockley and Havering visit Boreham.


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