Gidea Park skipper Francis excited for derby with Upminster

PUBLISHED: 17:00 20 July 2018

Jamal Francis of Gidea Park & Romford (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Jamal Francis of Gidea Park & Romford (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Havering rivals meet in Shepherd Neame Essex League Divison One on Saturday

Gidea Park & Romford captain Jamal Francis expects an exciting game at Havering rivals Upminster on Saturday in Shepherd Neame Essex League Division One.

The borough rivals meet at Upminster Park this weekend, with bragging rights and vital points at stake.

Park got the better of Upminster in their previous meeting in May, but Francis believes it will be a close-fought match this weekend.

“Both us and Upminster have started to do better with the bat in recent weeks, so it’s all set up for a good game on Saturday,” he said.

“We won our last game with Upminster in May, but that was a tight match and I expect that to be the case again this weekend.

“I think it will come down to game management, and that might mean it is time for our senior players to really play their part.”

Park head into the Havering derby off the back of a 28-run defeat at home to leaders Hutton last Saturday.

After losing the toss and being put into the field, they saw the visitors reach 284-9 from their 50 overs as Vivian Paver (101 not out), Julian Whetstone (55) and Adam Holdgate (53) all made significant contributions.

Francis admits Hutton batted well, but he was also disappointed the hosts did not make the most of some early chances in the field.

“We dropped Holdgate twice in the space of two overs and he went on to get 53, so that in itself was frustrating,” added Francis.

“Whetstone played well too, and everyone in the league is aware of the quality of Paver. He started slowly, but he started to accelerate once he got to around 40 and a quality player like Vivian can punish you when he’s on form.”

Though Sam Hewitt top scored with 63 in reply, Park were all out for 256, but Francis insists there were positives to take in the loss.

“Even chasing a score like 280, there were times when we looked in a good position and we were up with the run rate early on,” he said.

“We knew we had a chance if we kept wickets in hand, but we lost them at bad times and the momentum went.

“Sam played well for his half-century, but he’s really keen to now start getting centuries.”

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