Essex League Premier Division: Billericay aim to show they can cope in top flight with or without Essex youngster Paul Walter
PUBLISHED: 14:00 10 May 2018
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The Blunts Wall Road club have enjoyed quite the rise in recent years and want to continue catching the eye in the Premier Division
Six years ago Billericay were starting a new Shepherd Neame Essex League Division Three season, but fast forward to now and they are preparing for life in the Premier Division.
It has been an astonishing few years for the Blunts Wall Road club and after struggling to get out of Division Two for a lengthy amount of time, they have enjoyed lots of success in recent times.
Lee Knight’s team went into the final day of last season outside of the top two with Hadleigh & Thundersley and Orsett & Thurrock favourites for promotion.
But a home defeat for Orsett against Harold Wood, coupled with Billericay defeating Gidea Park & Romford, saw Billericay clinch second spot behind Hadleigh.
It means they are preparing for life in the Premier now and will start in the top flight with a home clash against Ilford on Saturday.
Billericay won nine of their 18 games in Division One with Essex all-rounder Paul Walter playing a key role in three of those victories.
Walter, who came through the youth system at Blunts Wall Road, played five times for the Essex club on their way to Division One success.
He scored a run-a-ball 43 and took 2-28 in a three-wicket victory at Buckhurst Hill and smashed a quickfire 49 in an emphatic win at Gidea Park before hitting 53 in another important triumph in August away to Belhus.
The Essex youngster has also impressed in the County Championship over the past 12 months and so may not get many chances to play for Billericay this year.
But he is still signed up for his hometown club and ready to deliver if the opportunity to represent them arises.
“I’m with Billericay again this year, but hopefully I won’t be required and I’ll be playing at Essex,” said Walter.
“You never know what is going to happen with injuries and other stuff, so I’ll never rule it out and last year was great for Billericay and I enjoyed it a lot.”
Even if Walter isn’t able to play in the Premier Division too often, Billericay have more than enough quality to impress in the top flight.
After pushing to reach this level for so long, Knight and his team will look to show they can stay there.