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Rainham captain O'Neill delighted to make switch over to SNEL

PUBLISHED: 12:00 30 October 2019

Rainham's Jon O'Neill (left) and Jas Hothi celebrate a victory in the T-Rippon Mid-Essex League (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Rainham's Jon O'Neill (left) and Jas Hothi celebrate a victory in the T-Rippon Mid-Essex League (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

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Rainham Cricket Club will be moving to the Shepherd Neame Essex League for the 2020 season much to the delight of captain Jon O'Neill.

Jon O'Neill in batting action for Rainham in the T.Rippon Mid-Essex League (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).Jon O'Neill in batting action for Rainham in the T.Rippon Mid-Essex League (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

The Berengrove Park outfit finished second in the T Rippon Mid-Essex Premier Division last season but will now seek a completely new challenge.

And the skipper is excited for the new challenges but insists their former club has made them the club they are.

"We're delighted to have our first team accepted into the SNEL for the 2020 season," O'Neill said.

"It will be sad to leave the T-Rippon as it has given us a great platform to become the side we are today, testing ourselves against ever better competition as we've progressed from Division 5 to the Premier over the last decade.

"One of our club's stated aims is to play cricket at the highest standard possible, and entry into the SNEL structure is now our best route to achieving this goal."

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Rainham will come up against a number of new opponents including Newham, Barking and Sprinfield who were all also elected as Associate members of the Shepherd Neame Essex League and will play in Division Three next season.

"It's exciting to have the chance to make new rivals in the SNEL, but particularly to re-acquaint ourselves with some older ones in what looks like a 14-team Division Three next season.

"Goresbrook are our local rivals - a club on a similar trajectory to us with a great crop of young talent who love to play tough, high-level cricket.

"Springfield are also making the switch, who we consider a great scalp any time we beat them, and Barking who were our nemesis once upon a time in the Essex County League.

"We're excited to see how it will go against the clubs we haven't played before.

"The only thing guaranteed is that it will be competitive."

He added: "Last year was a very successful season for us, winning 15 and losing just 2 of our league games, so it feels like time to move on to sterner competition.

"Hopefully in another decade we will look back at this moment as the start of another great chapter in our club's modern history."

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