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T-Rippon Mid-Essex League Division Two: Captain Anthony Downes looking for Havering-atte-Bower to go one better this year

PUBLISHED: 09:00 11 May 2018

Havering face the camera at the start of a new season (pic Lee Power)

Havering face the camera at the start of a new season (pic Lee Power)

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After finishing third in 2017, Havering are determined to secure promotion this season and remain confident of achieving their goal

Anthony Downes is confident Havering-atte-Bower will enjoy plenty of success in T-Rippon Mid-Essex League Division Two this season after going so close to promotion in 2017.

The Broxhill Road club finished third last year and 36 points off second-placed Bentley seconds.

It was an impressive campaign after only sealing promotion to the division in 2016, but there are no plans for Havering to rest on their laurels this time around.

Downes, who has taken over the captaincy from James Hurley, said: “We want to try and keep our success going.

“And with an extra couple of players coming in, it looks like we should have a decent first-team side out throughout the year.

“Even when we might be short, I don’t think we will have to fill the XI with people from the thirds this season like we did in 2017.”

Downes went on to reveal most of Havering’s eight defeats last year occurred because they were forced to field weakened teams.

He doesn’t expect them to have that problem this season with both the second team and thirds stronger than before.

Havering seconds suffered relegation from Division Six in 2017, but they will aim to enjoy a renaissance in Division Seven and have a settled XI this year.

“I have taken on the captaincy and it should be an interesting season because we’ve got a couple of very good players who have come back to the club to play a bit more,” added Downes.

“We will lose a few during the campaign, but overall we have some new people involved, so that will bolster us.

“If we can get some strong sides out we should have a decent season and after finishing third last year, we are hoping to push on and see what we can do.”

This will be Downes’ first term in charge of the first team and he is determined to lead from the front, but conceded the quality in the squad may see him bat lower down the order than usual.

He added: “I definitely just want to contribute as much as I can with bat and ball.

“But with some of the players we’ve brought in, I’ll probably go down the order a bit now.”

Havering showed their ability in the opening match of the new season with a crushing win over Little Waltham to send out a message to the rest of the league.

The Broxhill Road club scored 269-6 from their 45 overs and dismissed the hosts for just 127 to sit top after week one. Downes will hope it is the start of another successful season with promotion arriving in September.

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