O'Neill knows not to underestimate Aythorpe
PUBLISHED: 13:00 26 July 2019
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Rainham remain second in the T.Rippon Mid-Essex League Premier Division after a fifth straight win last weekend
Rainham captain Jon O'Neill knows his batsmen will have to step up on Saturday if they are to win at Aythorpe Roding in the T.Rippon Mid-Essex League Premier Division.
The previous encounter back in May saw the Spring Farm Park outfit handed a surprise walkover win.
Aythorpe were unable to field a team, but they have won five of their 12 matches this season to sit seventh.
While Rainham enter this contest full of confidence after a hard-fought victory at home to Canvey last weekend, their captain knows this latest test will be hard.
O'Neill said: "It really is about which side they have out. Their availability has been a bit up and down all year hence why they have had some mixed results.
"At home they are normally strong and they know their pitch and how to play on it, so the conditions will favour them and we know this will not be an easy game.
"We have won five in a row, but this will be just as hard as last weekend was against Canvey Island, if not harder.
"Although 150 was a par score at our place on Saturday, par could be a hundred more than that at Aythorpe, so we need our batsmen to step up."
Second-placed Rainham got revenge over Canvey Island at Spring Farm Park last time out with a pleasing win over their old rivals.
After losing to them at the start of the season, O'Neill saw his team post 157 with the bat before they dismissed the away side for 116 in 36 overs.
He said: "It was one of our toughest games this year, but we got the result we wanted so we were very happy.
"Our league position up to this point has probably been a bit flattering, I have made no secret of that, but against a team around our level we turned up and got the result, so I was pleased."
Biren Patel top scored with 33 for Rainham and Ronnie Jackson contributed 28, but a collapse saw their innings end four overs early.
It didn't impact the hosts' too much with Canvey soon in trouble with both Biren Patel (3-21) and Bhavik Patel (4-21) enjoying the spinning track at Spring Farm Park to help their team to another win.
O'Neill added: "It was good to see them do well together again. Biren has been doing it all year, but it was great to see Bhavik come to the party.
"Bhavik does always do it in the big games and picks up wickets against the best teams, so there definitely seems a fear factor about him when it comes to these type of fixtures."