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Mid-Essex League Division Two: Anthony Downes and Havering-atte-Bower CC eye winning start to 2018 campaign

PUBLISHED: 11:00 04 May 2018

Havering-atte-Bower face the camera after winning the Mid-Essex League Division Three title in 2016 (pic: Havering-atte-Bower CC).

Havering-atte-Bower face the camera after winning the Mid-Essex League Division Three title in 2016 (pic: Havering-atte-Bower CC).

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The Broxhill Road club will get the new season underway at Little Waltham and optimism is high despite a lack of match practise

New Havering-atte-Bower CC captain Anthony Downes is hoping to start the new 2018 season with a win at Little Waltham in Mid-Essex League Division Two.

The Broxhill Road club came third last year and just missed out on promotion as a result and have changed skipper during the winter.

Downes has taken over the captaincy from Jack Hurley and is looking to get his reign off to a victorious start this weekend. He said: “I’m hoping we can start the season with a win, especially given the side we are set to have out.

“If Waltham are similar to last year, then I don’t see no reason why we shouldn’t be winning Saturday’s match.”

Havering didn’t have the best of luck against Little Waltham in 2017, but weren’t helped by fielding weakened teams in the games against a side which finished sixth.

But Downes is confident they can start this year with a flourish and won’t have too many occasions where they are struggling for players.

He added: “We have a good side out for Saturday. I think we lost both games to Little Waltham last year, but I didn’t think they were unbeatable.

“When we played them I think we had a couple of poor sides out and most of the games we lost in 2017 were when we were struggling for players.

“There was one time we went away to Rayleigh and had three third-team players involved, but I am hoping we can avoid that this year and we can keep the side as strong as possible.”

Something that has affected Havering’s preparations for the new season is the recent wet weather, but it is the same for most local clubs.

Downes admitted: “We’ve not had the greatest of preparation really. We had a Sunday game and inter-club game, but the inter-club games tend to be more fun and getting everyone together.

“We did have a couple of friendlies organised in April, but unfortunately the first and second-team friendly was cancelled because the outfield was too wet and the Sunday match went the same way.

“The threes had a game with Ilford Catholics which went ahead, but they lost, so generally we have not had the greatest of preparation for the new season.”

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