Seventh heaven for Rainham, but captain O'Neill warns next two games are decisive
PUBLISHED: 13:00 08 August 2019
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The Spring Farm Park club will try to win their eighth game in a row on Saturday when they host Bentley
Rainham entertain Bentley in the T.Rippon Mid-Essex League Premier Division on Saturday and captain Jon O'Neill knows it will show how much progress they have made in 2019.
The Spring Farm Park club have won seven games in a row to move up to second in the table, but a loss this weekend would badly hurt their hopes of a top-two finish.
After third-placed Bentley visit, Rainham will travel to soon-to-be champions Springfield and this is a key spell for O'Neill's team.
He said: "We've won seven in a row and I've never done that before at the club, but the next two weeks will define our season.
"If we can win at least one, we will look back and say it has been a pretty good year and especially with a scalp under our belt.
"But if we lose both, it would show we haven't progressed as much as we would have liked and it's all about the next two games, it's a massive two weekends."
Although Rainham are set for a big challenge against Bentley, they go into it in the form of their life.
Last weekend they triumphed by seven wickets against Stock at Spring Farm Park after the away side were dismissed for 157.
Ben Little claimed three scalps, as did captain O'Neill, while Bhavik Patel finished with four wickets.
It left 158 to chase and Ronnie Jackson made light work of it with a brilliant 78 not out, with great support by ex-skipper Jas Hothi, who just missed out on a deserved half-century.
O'Neill added: "We were never on the back foot, we got off to a good start and when you do that against the teams lower down the league, you know you have a good chance because they don't tend to bat too far down the order.
"But in the middle order they had one bloke, called Johnson, who timed the ball so well and he got 75 in the end and we just couldn't bowl anywhere to him.
"He was having one of those days where he was seeing it like a beach ball and the outfield is lightning, so he scored a lot of boundaries.
"Even then, we managed to keep him at one end and went through the others and 157, given the conditions, was not a very good score and Ronnie and Jas showed how to bat."
Now Rainham need to back it up at home to Bentley. The earlier encounter in June was abandoned without a ball being bowled.