Shenfield skipper says promotion still in their hands
PUBLISHED: 08:00 23 August 2019
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Shenfield captain Roy Smith is confident that the hunt for promotion back to the Shepherd Neame Essex Premier Division is their hands.
League leaders Colchester & East Essex will be the opponents at Shenfield's Chelmsford Road home on Saturday as the Division promotion battle heats up with three games left to play.
Experienced batsman Smith and his side currently sit fourth in the table just two points behind second-place Fives & Heronians but 36 points behind their visitors heading into the clash.
"We're back within touching distance again and we've got Colchester at home so it's in our hands," Smith said.
"We'll be confident of getting result as we're back to the red ball now and we've won six out of six in that format but hopefully we can continue that to make it seven for seven."
Colchester, Fives, Woodford Wells, Shenfield and Harold Wood are among the side's who can still earn promotion.
"It's one of those years I think, everyone is beating each other, so now it's like a mini cup run.
"Everyone has three games to play and whoever wins all three is going to be the ones who go up.
"Someone has got to drop points somewhere; we've got Colchester Saturday, then Gidea Park & Romford away who are down the bottom, and Woodford Wells at home, which is another game in our hands.
"All we can do is see what happens."
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They head into the match following a huge 191 run victory over strugglers Southend-on-Sea.
"It was a must win game for us especially after the disappointing loss the week before so it was very pleasing.
"With us chasing the league and winning the toss, I was always going to want to bat first, but with the bad weather we've had on an uncovered wicket - it was wet and soft.
"There were a few raised eyebrows when I choose to bat first but doing that you get the extra five points which is very crucial at the end of the season.
"It's all about character and mindset, that's what we had to do as we were about 40 odd for 3, 50 odd for 4 and then we dug in.
"Jack Kliber (35) batted really well up top, dug in, and Tom Ballington (53) and myself (95) put on a crucial partnership."
"We weathered the storm and once we got on top it became a lot easier."
Smith also heaped praise on his bowling unit for their efforts with Khail Muhammad (4-25) and Charlie Haddon (3-13) the stand-out performers.
"The guys bowled really well and bowled in good areas as it was a tricky wicket to bat on.
"It does show you how well with did bat as a unit."
Charlie Haddon came back in and bowled really well, Khalil Mohammad was turning the ball, and bowled extremely well.