Essex Division One: Harold Wood need a win to boost promotion hopes

PUBLISHED: 16:00 08 July 2016

Harold Wood skipper Richard Brabner (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Harold Wood skipper Richard Brabner (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Skipper calls on side to keep unbeaten run going

Harold Wood skipper Richard Brabner knows the team have to maintain their unbeaten run against Southend in order to boost their promotion hopes in Essex League Division One.

Wood have not lost any of their last five fixtures in the division, with their last defeat coming on May 28 away to local rivals Upminster.

That run will face a stern test this weekend, though, against a Southend side who are currently third in the standings.

But Brabner knows that if Wood harbour any hopes of returning to the Premier Divsion at the first attempt, it is a game they have to win.

“After the next few games, we’re going to know whether we can target promotion or whether we will be looking for a top-half finish at best,” said Brabner.

“Of course, two wins would be brilliant, one win would be okay and no wins would probably mean we will be looking just to finish in the top half.

“It’s a big game, and while it’s not make-or-break just yet, we need to make sure we can keep our momentum.”

It looks like batsmen Raihan Hussain and Craig Perrin will be the men Wood look to as they bid to keep their unbeaten run going this weekend.

Opener Hussain top scored with 49 in a five-wicket win over Hadleigh last weekend, while Perrin has hit 387 runs in 12 innings so far.

And Brabner was full of praise for the duo, whose performances in recent weeks have galvanised Wood’s season.

“Against Hadleigh, we maybe lost a few more wickets than we should have, but Raihan is batting fluidly and confidently at the minute,” he said.

“Craig is in a similar bit of form too, while it was also good to see Shahbaz Khan and Maruf Chowdhury come in and finish things off for us.”

Wood did go out of the Essex League Cup on Sunday, though, after a three-wicket defeat at home to Shenfield.

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