Mid-Essex League Division One: Rainham book place in top flight, but title is still Jas Hothi’s aim!
PUBLISHED: 13:00 18 August 2017
Title chasers host fourth-placed Springfield seconds this weekend looking to pick up maximum points and leapfrog Aythorpe Roding
Jas Hothi believes Rainham are the best team in Mid-Essex League Division One, but knows his players must prove it over the next three weeks.
The Spring Farm Park club sealed promotion to the top flight last Saturday with a 10-wicket win away to Tillingham.
But Rainham still trail leaders Aythorpe Roding by three points with three games to play and host fourth-placed Springfield seconds this weekend
“We think we are the best team in the league and you look at it and we have only lost once all season,” said Hothi.
“Two of our games were abandoned due to rain, so we have been slightly unlucky in that regard. We did celebrate on Saturday and had a couple of drinks, but everyone knows we need to focus again now.
“We showed we are doing that by beating Barking in the Essex Foundation T20 Cup on Tuesday to get through to the semi-finals.
“What was important for us was to have something to play for going into the last few weeks of the season and we do. We all want to win the title.”
Rainham last suffered defeat all the way back in May, but are still behind Aythorpe Roding, although they have closed the gap on the leaders in recent weeks.
Hothi knows there must be a real temptation for his squad to focus on who their rivals are facing, but wants his players to concentrate on their own game.
“Aythorpe have Burnham this weekend and then Tillingham and Hornchurch, so their last two fixtures won’t be walkovers,” added the Rainham captain.
“At the same time, if we lose then worrying about them counts for nothing, so we need to focus on ourselves.
“We need to keep fighting, make sure we win our last three games and hopefully it is enough for us to be champions.”
Bhavik Patel (4-6) and Jon O’Neill (3-18) did most of the damage for Rainham last weekend at Tillingham.
The hosts were dismissed for 96 and Hothi finished unbeaten on 55 as they made it home inside 16 overs at Vicarage Lane.
It was enough to secure promotion, but their captain still has his eyes on the title.
“We play Springfield twos on Saturday and they are not a bad side to be fair and we always enjoy playing them,” said Hothi.
“They have a bit to say when you are batting and it is always good fun, but we need to win and get maximum points.
“Next season we will be playing Springfield’s first-team, so we have to show our class this weekend.”
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