Curtis: We have great opportunity

PUBLISHED: 14:00 05 June 2015

Upminster captain John Curtis (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Upminster captain John Curtis (pic: 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

Upminster captain hoping to end barren run of form

Upminster’s last win in the Essex League was June 21 last year, but captain John Curtis believes that run can end this weekend as they host struggling Hadleigh & Thundersley.

The two teams are struggling in Division One with Upminster lurking in the bottom two after relegation from the Premier Division last year.

This campaign was always about consolidating, but Curtis wants his side to get the monkey off their back tomorrow (Saturday).

“Three of the four teams we have played are in the top three of the league,” he said.

“Hadleigh had a good win against Hutton last week, but like us they are looking like being a bottom-half team, so this weekend is our best

opportunity of getting a win.

“If we can bat first and get a big score that will be good and they have been bowled out cheaply a few times already.

“We’ve shown we can bowl teams out because we dismissed Southend for 190-odd on the opening day and we just need to get a win – even if we stumble over the line – just to get this monkey off our back.”

The winless Saturday streak was extended last weekend as Upminster were bowled out for 180 by Hornchurch, who went on to win by six wickets.

Curtis admitted that was never going to be enough, but was frustrated with the poor fielding display his team gave.

“We got a wicket early and dropped catches after,” said Curtis. “We dropped four and three of them you would expect to take at first team level.

“It is disappointing because it looks like we were well beaten, but if we had taken two of those chances we would’ve been in with a chance of winning.”

One positive was Alan Ison’s excellent unbeaten 75 and Curtis added: “Alan batted really well for 75 and has been batting really well all year. He’s taking a lot of responsibility and not played so many shots.

“He knows he is our best batsman and we just need more people to stick around.”

Upminster also tasted defeat at South Woodford in their second Dukes Essex T20 group match on Sunday.

Curtis was forced to field several second, third and fourth team players, but his side only fell nine runs short of chasing down 174.

They were set to play Hutton last night (Thursday), but the points were awarded to Upminster.

The seconds lost to Brentwood while the thirds drew with their rivals too, but fourth-team captain Billy Wright starred as he took 7-58 to bowl Loughton out for 212 before holding firm as last man to earn a draw.

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