Shenfield face promotion clash with Fives and Heronians
PUBLISHED: 18:00 09 August 2019
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Shenfield face a promotion clash at home to Fives & Heronians on Saturday and captain Roy Smith expects it to be like a cup game, writes Dan Bennett.
Smith's side sit just seven points behind their upcoming opponents, who occupy the second promotion place in the Shepherd Neame Essex League Division One table.
A victory against bottom club Loughton in their last game kept Shenfield in the hunt for promotion, with them now fifth in the table heading into the weekend' game.
After a drop in form during the middle of the season, Smith is now confident his side can push on and get promoted.
"We have to try and win our remaining games," he said. "If we do we'll end up in the top two.
"This weekend's game is massive, it's going to be like a cup game as are the rest of the matches. After coming up, Fives have done well.
"We had a little drop in the middle after winning six. We just took our foot off the pedal.
"There is still a long way to go. The tables don't mean very much at the moment.
"We've still got time to go on a good run and finish in the top two. We're bowling well."
Loughton opted to bat first last weekend and started well as opener Raihan Hussain came within one of a half-century, while partner Bilaal Anwar hit 41.
And a strong effort from the middle order helped the bottom club reach 222-6, thanks to Bilal Butt (29), John Mills (25) and Ewan Risby (24) .
Essex youngster Jack Plom took three wickets, while former England Test spinner Monty Panesar finished with figures of 10-6-16-1.
And Ollie Ekers scored 33 early in Shenfield's reply, before it looked like they would struggle to complete the chase as four wickets fell in quick succession to leave them 111-6.
However, some excellent batting from the seventh-wicket pair of Plom (77 not out) and Khail Muhammad (53 not out) helped Shenfield secure the win in the 43rd over.
Smith was pleased with the victory but believes it could have been easier for his side, adding: "It was a good win in the end, but we made it hard work for ourselves.
"It should have been more comfortable, but we showed a lot of experience down the middle and lower order."