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Essex League Division One: Woodford Wells will have to be at their best to win at Harold Wood admits Jon Gaffney

PUBLISHED: 13:00 17 May 2018

Craig Perrin (left) keeps wicket for Harold Wood earlier this season (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Craig Perrin (left) keeps wicket for Harold Wood earlier this season (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Confidence is high at the Monkhams Lane club despite last weekend’s wash-out, but they are braced for a difficult encounter on Saturday

Woodford Wells captain Jon Gaffney has warned his side they must perform to their best if they are going to win at Essex League Division One local rivals Harold Wood.

The Monkhams Lane outfit make the short trip to Harold Wood this weekend looking to claim a second success of the 2018 season after progressing past Division Three outfit Benfleet in the League Cup earlier this month.

Gaffney is well aware his players will face a much more difficult task on Saturday up against a side who have fared well in Division One over the last two years.

Nevertheless, he believes Wells can claim a good result if they perform to the best of their ability.

“Harold Wood are always a strong side and we never have an easy game with them,” said Gaffney.

“I can’t remember the last time we won at their place, but we have a good team and if we all do our jobs then I’m sure we’ll do alright.

“Even if we manage that, we know it will be difficult because Harold Wood always make it tough for you.”

Wells, like many local clubs, were left frustrated by the wet weather last weekend as their clash at home to Belhus was abandoned.

Gaffney’s team managed to get through 16 overs and were 70-3 with Hywel Jones on 42 not out, but once the rain arrived the umpires had to call it off.

Despite the abandonment, the Monkhams Lane club will go to Harold Wood with plenty of confidence and eye what would be a statement first league win of the season.

Wells placed seventh in the 2017 campaign – 18 points off fifth-placed Harold Wood, who were third in 2016 and missed out on second by four points.

Looking ahead to Saturday, Gaffney said: “They finished well in 2017, but I didn’t think we were that far away from them. We just didn’t perform consistently enough and especially away at their place.

“From memory we were going well and collapsed with the bat and they chased it down pretty easily, so we need to change that this time around and perform.

“We had a poor day at the office last time at Harold Wood and we can’t allow that to happen again because they will punish us.”

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