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HOWZAT: Rainham captain Jas Hothi backs Jon O’Neill to impress again in the Mid-Essex League Division One

PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 April 2017

Rainham's Jon O'Neill and Jas Hothi celebrate victory at Ingatestone & Fryerning in 2016 (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Rainham's Jon O'Neill and Jas Hothi celebrate victory at Ingatestone & Fryerning in 2016 (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

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

After adjusting to life in the second tier, Hothi feels his talented young crop of players can aim higher this season

Rainham captain Jas Hothi has backed all-rounder Jon O’Neill to catch the eye again in the Mid-Essex League Division One, but is still hoping to score more runs than his team-mate.

The Spring Farm Park club finished fourth last summer after recovering from a poor start and a tricky mid-season spell.

O’Neill was a key performer for Rainham throughout, however, as they ended the season with four league wins in their final five games.

Hothi said: “He’s a top player and is unique. I don’t think there is a bowler quicker than him in our division and I am not sure there is a player who can hit it further.

“We are lucky to have him and he was the outstanding player last season and especially with the ball. With the bat he would probably like to score a few more runs, so he is looking forward to it.

“He was a bit disappointed with his batting contribution, but you can’t fault him with the ball. I don’t think he wants to finish below me in the batting department again, so that should be a good little rivalry!”

Rainham earned promotion to Division One in 2015 and believe another successful year could be on the cards.

After adjusting to life in the second tier, Hothi feels his talented young crop of players can aim higher this season, adding: “I am not saying we will win the division, but I want us to try and push for promotion.

“We want to be playing in the Premier. I believe we are good enough, so hopefully we can apply ourselves correctly and get there.”

If Rainham are to reach the top flight, they know they need to improve their batting displays and be more consistent.

Hothi’s men produced some big scores towards the end of the 2016 season, but were regularly failing to score more than 200.

But the Rainham skipper expects his squad to kick on again having learned from their mistakes last year.

“I don’t think the gulf between Division One and Two is massive, but I just think our application wasn’t good enough at the start of last year,” he added.

“We were losing wickets in bundles and when you are 50-5 or 60-5 you can’t really get to the 180 scores, which we did in 2015.

“We would end up getting 140, so we were never really in the game and didn’t apply ourselves well.

“After a few harsh words in the changing room we sorted it out and we’re still young – I think the team is even younger this season.

“We need to keep learning from our mistakes and hopefully apply ourselves better and do well this year.”


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