Peck expecting even League Cup tie between local rivals

PUBLISHED: 11:00 26 April 2019

Upminster players have a group huddle (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Upminster players have a group huddle (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

The Essex League Cup gets underway this weekend and Upminster will travel to Harold Wood

Upminster captain Ollie Peck is keen for his team to start 2019 with a competitive win when they travel to Harold Wood on Saturday in the Essex League Cup.

The winner of the first round tie will set up a home clash with one of Brentwood or Benfleet in the next round on May 4.

Spinner Peck, who has taken over as captain on a permanent basis from Nicky Ison, is looking for Upminster to prepare for the season with two tough cup games.

In 2018, Harold Wood finished fifth in Essex League Division One – a single point and one spot above their local rivals – and this weekend's derby appears set to be a close tie.

Peck said: “We finished fifth and sixth last season, so we should be pretty evenly matched, but they were one of the sides we got the better of last year.

“We had a rained-off game which we looked like we might win and then we did win at their place, but in previous seasons they have probably had the rub of the green over us a bit.

“I think the winner will have Brentwood in the second round so that would give us a competitive fixture for the following weekend.

“We will see how we get on. I think Wood have strengthened a little bit, but I expect it will be an evenly matched game.”

Despite Upminster finishing below Harold Wood in the table last season, the sixth-placed side won by six wickets away to their rivals on July 14 and were 41-1 chasing 136 on May 12 when rain halted proceedings and saw play abandoned.

After coming mid-table in 2018, both will have their eyes on trying to win promotion to the Premier Division this year.

Upminster started the summer with an impressive victory in a friendly over Wanstead on home turf on Easter Monday.

Peck won the toss, batted first and saw his side post 239-4 from their 40 overs with Alan Ison top scoring with 88 not out.

He was well supported by Louis Pickering, who hit a fine 77 from number three against a slightly inexperienced Herons attack.

In reply, Wanstead had hardly any answers and were dismissed for 92 in the 33rd over with the wickets shared around.

John Curtis (2-6), Shahbaz Butt (2-10), Samuel Twine (2-13) and Peck (2-2) nabbed braces, but the real stuff starts this weekend and Upminster will want another win.

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