Francis confident Park can kick-start campaign with a home triumph against Fives
PUBLISHED: 18:00 17 May 2019
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Park beaten by eight wickets at Hutton last weekend
Jamal Francis believes a victory for Gidea Park & Romford at home to Fives & Heronians on Saturday could be the catalyst needed to be successful in Shepherd Neame Essex Division One.
Park are at home in the league for the first time this term this weekend, but are still on the lookout for a first win in the competition.
Last weekend saw GPR lose by eight wickets away to Hutton as they began the league term with a defeat.
Skipper Francis wants Park to move on swiftly from that defeat against Fives, but is wary of the threat posed by their recently-promoted opponents.
"Fives have players in their squad that are capable of playing in Division One, which is why they won Division Two last season and Southend last weekend," said Francis.
"Fives aren't in this league just to make up the members; they'll be looking to put teams under pressure.
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"We know where their strengths lie and we'll try to counter that, but we have confidence in our own ablilty.
"The opening weeks of a new season are important because they set the tone for the campaign and we need to get an early win on the board."
As for that defeat to Hutton, Francis top scored with 35 as GPR were dismissed for just 98 after electing to bat first.
Sam Hewitt and Francis then took a wicket apiece to check Hutton's reply, but Park were never likely to defend such a low score and so it proved.
GPR, however, were at least able to claim seven points from the loss which is something Francis is keen to draw on.
"There were positives to take from the defeat and we're happy to take the points we did despite losing.
"We know we need to get a win on the board early in the season and we want to show people exactly what we're capable of.
"We back ourselves to do well in every game and hopefully that will be the case against Hutton."