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Essex Division One: Harold Wood cricket club hope to get first win of season at third attempt against Fives & Heronians

PUBLISHED: 16:00 20 May 2016

Harold Wood's Richard Brabner (pic: Graham Hodges)

Harold Wood's Richard Brabner (pic: Graham Hodges)

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Skipper Brabner confident against success this weekend

Harold Wood captain Richard Brabner hopes luck is finally on his team’s side when they host Fives & Heronians on Saturday.

Wood are yet to win in Essex League Division One this year, following an opening-day draw at Southend with a final-over loss to Billericay last weekend.

In both games, though, there were chances for the Harold Wood Park club to get over the line and earn a better result.

Against Southend, Wood were one wicket from victory, while Billericay won with four balls to spare last time out.

Fives were promoted from Division Two alongside Billericay last year and Brabner hopes that fortune turns in Wood’s favour for once this weekend.

“I’ve lost the toss in both games so far, so that makes it a bit more difficult because we have been bowling second, when it’s easier to win batting second,” said Brabner.

“There have been moments in the games so far when we could have been sharper and both games have been tight so far.

“We haven’t been too far away in both games and I think we have already come up against two of the better sides in the league.”

Wood’s cause will also be boosted this weekend by the return of all-rounder Maruf Chowdhury, who will certainly aid the cause as the club look to bounce back after relegation from the Premier Division last year.

And while they haven’t got off to the best of starts, Brabner knows there is still time for Wood to win promotion back to the top flight at the first attempt.

“In timed games at the start of the season, you need to pick up points if you’re not winning and we’ve managed to get 20,” he added.

“We know if we do want to be near the top, though, we will need wins, but I think the 50-over matches will define the season for everyone in the league.

“If you can get a good run of form going in that period and get a few wins on the board, you will be near the top at the end.”

The form of Shahbaz Khan has been a positive, after he top scored in the defeat to Billericay with 59 and drew praise from Brabner.

He added: “‘Shabz’ did well last time out, but so did Craig Sampson.

“They helped us to a competitive score after getting off to a bit of a slow start, helping us get some valuable points.”

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