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Harold Wood want to stretch lead at top of table as they host title rivals Shenfield

PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 July 2019

H Ikram of Harold Wood during Gidea Park and Romford CC vs Harold Wood CC, Shepherd Neame Essex League Cricket at Gidea Park Sports Ground on 6th July 2019

H Ikram of Harold Wood during Gidea Park and Romford CC vs Harold Wood CC, Shepherd Neame Essex League Cricket at Gidea Park Sports Ground on 6th July 2019

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Harold Wood vice-captain Hamzah Ikram says they have a 'fantastic opportunity' to pull clear at the top of the Shepherd Neame Essex League Division One table this weekend.

H Afzal in batting action for Harold Wood during Gidea Park and Romford CC vs Harold Wood CC, Shepherd Neame Essex League Cricket at Gidea Park Sports Ground on 6th July 2019H Afzal in batting action for Harold Wood during Gidea Park and Romford CC vs Harold Wood CC, Shepherd Neame Essex League Cricket at Gidea Park Sports Ground on 6th July 2019

The new leaders play host to one of their title rivals Shenfield at Harold Wood Park on Saturday as they look to extend their lead after moving top with an 80-run derby win over Gidea Park & Romford last weekend.

But Ikram knows they must not underestimate their opponents, despite them losing their last three fixtures.

"We have a fantastic opportunity to cement ourselves among the rest of the pack," Ikram said.

"We do realise Shenfield are a fantastic team and with the results they've had, they're going to be as dangerous as ever against us.

"We will do the best we can and try keep our momentum going."

Wood head into the clash in tremendous form after winning their last three league matches and making it into their first-ever T20 final on Sunday.

They did however fall short at the finals day in Billericay, as they beat Belhus in the semi-finals, before losing out in the final to Premier Division leaders Wanstead & Snaresbrook.

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And Ikram is hoping they can build on all of their recent success this weekend.

"We have a bit of momentum behind us now and obviously coming up against Shenfield who are searching for a bit of form plays into our favour," he added.

"We're under no illusion that they're a very strong team and we have our work cut out for us this week as we know only our best is enough to take away full points.

"We're hoping to use that momentum for the game."

The stand-in skipper was keen to praise the entire squad for their efforts in the Dukes Essex T20 campaign this term.

"It's no secret that we didn't have the strongest team out from our side of things but we relied on our young players to come in and turn up," he said.

"I think after being dismissed for 98, Joe Stallibrass, Mo Hassan and Sadaif Medhi, our three spinners bowled terrifically and pretty much won us the game.

"Everyone at the club, despite the fact we didn't come away winners, is immensely proud of the performance we put in.

"Myself, I'm proud of everyone that took part in those games."

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