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Upminster skipper praises Evans

PUBLISHED: 12:07 04 June 2015

Upminster captain John Curtis (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Upminster captain John Curtis (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

John Curtis reflects on defeats to Hornchurch and South Woodford

Upminster's James Evans has been impressing with the bat in recent weeks (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO).Upminster's James Evans has been impressing with the bat in recent weeks (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO).

Upminster were beaten by Hornchurch and South Woodford last weekend but captain John Curtis has praised the recent efforts of James Evans.

The batsman smashed 76 on Sunday against Premier League South Woodford but it wasn’t enough to secure his side a second Group F win in the Essex Dukes T20 competition.

Evans dismissal left the score on 131-3 and his team mates couldn’t chase down 175 and ended 165-5 from their 20 overs.

It was a valiant effort, though, from Curtis and his team and the skipper praised his top scorer following the game.

Alan Ison has hit three half centuries for Upminster this season and scored 277 runs at an average of 46.17 (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)Alan Ison has hit three half centuries for Upminster this season and scored 277 runs at an average of 46.17 (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

After starting the year with the second team, Evans hit 38 against Woodford Wells recently before being dismissed for 12 against Hornchurch on Saturday.

Although his stay at the crease on Saturday was short, his sparking 76 off 42 balls has given his captain plenty of confidence.

Curtis said: “It was a brilliant knock by James and he has been with the first team for a couple of weeks now.

“He is an opener and to be honest I didn’t know he had that in him but he smashed some massive sixes. They were all proper cricket strokes as well.

“James definitely deserves his chance with the first team. He has been on the brink of it for a while but played last couple of games.

“Two weeks ago he got 30 off about 90 balls versus Woodford Wells and did his job and we need someone who can stick around for a while with Alan Ison in great form and James is definitely capable of that.”

The availability of first team players against South Woodford disappointed Curtis on Sunday and he was left frustrating with defeat.

A victory would have ensured Upminster progress into the knock-out phase of the competition after their scheduled clash with Hutton this evening was called off and the points awarded to Curtis’s team.

“I had a very weak side and it is very disappointing to turn up in a first team competition with second, third and even fourth team players to play a Premier League team,” he added.

“If the club can’t put out a good team I don’t know why they entered the competition. To get within nine runs was an unbelievable effort.

“The people that played all did themselves proud. If I could have had two more first team players we would have won the game and we would have been top of the group.

“We were meant to play Hutton today but they cried off so that would have put us through. From the clubs point of view it is really disappointing.

“We are not going to win the league now but it would have been another practise game for us against Hutton so it is disappointing that it isn’t on.”

Upminster weren’t expected to defeat Hornchurch at Harrow Lodge last weekend but Curtis was pleased they ended up getting 180.

The hosts got to their target with six wickets in hand but it could have been a lot closer.

“Hornchurch, no surprise, were very strong but we decided to bat first and the plan was to get 200 but we fell short,” revealed Curtis.

“We just lose wickets in clusters. We lost two wickets early and then regrouped and lost another three wickets.

“Alan Ison (75 not out) and Nicholas O’Dell (29) come together for a good partnership but we lost another three wickets after that and in the end we did well to get past 175 and get six batting points.

“They had a guy that hit 50 but it was a scratchy innings, with a lot of inside edges but we can’t moan because we dropped four catches. We could have done a lot better in the field.”

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