O'Neill: Rainham ready for showdown with Canvey
PUBLISHED: 10:30 19 July 2019
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After four straight wins, Rainham enter a crucial encounter at Spring Farm Park full of confidence
Jon O'Neill wants Rainham to put in another accomplished display on Saturday when they take on rivals Canvey Island.
Since a comprehensive defeat at home to Springfield on June 15, the Spring Farm Park outfit have won four games in a row.
It has moved O'Neill's men up to second, but they know a defeat to Canvey, who beat them in May, could see them drop to fourth in the T.Rippon Mid-Essex League Premier Division.
He said: "We are second, but it's a very close little group between second and fifth.
"We know they have some dangerous players and they are a very good bowling outfit, but we are determined to avenge the two defeats we suffered at the start of the season.
"Canvey is the first of those with Springfield the other one, so we will definitely be up for it on Saturday."
Last weekend Rainham secured an excellent win at Great Baddow despite choosing to bat first to the surprise of some.
Ronnie Jackson led the charge with a composed 71 and Ben Little also scored a half-century - his maiden fifty for the first-team.
It helped Rainham get up to 289 before they were dismissed with three balls of their innings left.
O'Neill added: "I have thrown down the gauntlet to the players and they delivered on Saturday at Great Baddow.
"I won the toss and I think I was the first captain to win it and bat in a long time over there because they looked at me like I was mad, but I didn't want to go into our tougher games coming up having chased a low total again.
"Even though we have done that really well, I wanted us to go out there and prove we are a good batting side as well. Ronnie held the innings together and he has really come on after a poor start to the season.
"Ben Little got a fifty as well and we know what he is capable of because we see it in training and we have seen it in Sunday games and for the threes and twos, but that was his first time stepping up with the bat for the ones so that was really good as well."
Great Baddow made a strong start to their chase with O'Neill opening up with his spinners, but Rainham soon pulled it back.
Little continued his wonderful form with 3-35 and was backed up by his captain, who picked up 2-29.
It was then down to Biren Patel to keep the pressure up and his 2-31 made sure Great Baddow were all out for 189.
Captain O'Neill said: "I opened with the spinners and it didn't work out. The spin in their innings had been their best aspect and I thought maybe we would go for the jugular.
"It didn't work, but Ben and I came on, tidied things up and got the breakthrough and Biren has bowled fantastic all year and he was instrumental in going through them.
"They stuck around a bit and got 50 for the last wicket, so we lost a bit of focus there when the game was basically done.
"I wouldn't like to see that again, but again people have chipped in. Previously it was the spinners and this week it was the seamers in me and Ben."