Essex League Division One: Upminster boosted by Orsett draw as captain Nicky Ison plots a way past Colchester and East Essex

PUBLISHED: 15:00 08 June 2018 | UPDATED: 15:43 08 June 2018

Upminster captain Nicky Ison claims the wicket of Gidea Park & Romford skipper Jamal Francis (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Upminster captain Nicky Ison claims the wicket of Gidea Park & Romford skipper Jamal Francis (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

After an encouraging performance on Saturday, Upminster will look to back it up this weekend against their T20 semi-final opponents

John Curtis of Upminster (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)John Curtis of Upminster (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Nicky Ison is hopeful Upminster can claim a first win in the Shepherd Neame Essex League Division One this season at home to Colchester on Saturday.

The two teams were relegated in 2017 and have adjusted to life in the second tier differently, with this weekend’s visitors second after winning two of their games.

Upminster, on the other hand, are bottom and yet to triumph in Division One, but after a strong showing at Orsett & Thurrock on Saturday secured a 12-point draw, their captain is targeting another good performance this weekend.

“It will be a very hard game against Colchester. They come down with us last year and beat Hutton last time out and they were unbeaten,” said Ison.

“We know they are a very good, young side and it will be tough, but also a decent test ahead of our T20 semi-final with them in a few weeks time.

“It will be good to play them before we face them on finals day (July 1), but for Saturday we are at home again, so hopefully we will have a dry pitch and we can pick up some more points.

“If we could steal a victory this weekend it will set us up nicely for the one-day cricket to come.”

Following Saturday’s fixture, the Essex League format will change from timed matches to limited-overs games, which Ison believes may suit Upminster.

They virtually played a 50-over clash last weekend at Orsett & Thurrock as they scored 201-9 off 50 overs and managed to restrict the hosts to 184-9 off 45 overs, so a close encounter ended in a draw.

Shahbaz Butt top scored with 65 for Upminster while John Curtis took 5-59 with the ball, but they couldn’t get the last Orsett wicket.

Ison added: “It was probably our best all-round performance of the year, so hopefully it is a sign things are about to turn for us.

“Another pleasing aspect was the fact Orsett didn’t chase down the total, so when it comes to the one-day stuff hopefully we can win a few by having five bowlers to defend a score. Thinking ahead it’s a good sign.”

Upminster’s skipper reserved special praise for Curtis too, who showed his class on Saturday.

“John is one of the best in the league and he will run in for you all day, so he’s an absolute dream for a captain to have,” said Ison.

On Sunday Upminster will be hosting their vice presidents and ex-members day. Rob Mack and Ison will lead two teams in a 35-over contest at 1.30pm.

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