Peck: Upminster ready for crunch derby clash with Gidea Park
- Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo
Two clubs above the relegation zone in Division One will go head-to-head at Gallows Corner on Saturday
Upminster captain Ollie Peck has challenged his inconsistent team to continue the type of form they showed last Saturday when they travel to Gidea Park & Romford.
Shahbaz Butt smashed a stunning 149 not out to help them secure a much-needed victory at home to relegation rivals Southend, but they are not out of the woods yet.
A defeat at Gidea Park would put Upminster back in trouble heading into the final four games of the season, which are timed fixtures in Shepherd Neame Essex League Division One.
"It's a big game on Saturday, in the last match we had against them we batted atrociously and it's something we want to put right," Peck said.
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"They are a local rival so we always want to do well against them and not only are they close to us in the table, but the bottom two (Southend and Loughton) are playing each other this weekend so one of them will get 20 points.
"We have the top four in our last four timed games as well, so it's important we get as many points as we possible in this final 50-over game of the year."
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Upminster's style of play suits the limited-over format and Butt showed his class yet again in the match last weekend.
He already had two hundreds to his name before Saturday, against Loughton and Colchester, and got another in the 61-run victory at home to Southend.
Butt's 149 off 126 balls, which included 15 fours and five sixes, saw Upminster post 318-8 with opener James Evans (32) and Tom Daniels (28) playing support roles.
Peck added: "It was nice to beat someone down there with us and it was a good game of cricket, but the scorecard made it look closer than it was really.
"We got 318 and 'Shabs' was the stand-out batsman. He batted really well and paced his innings perfectly. He got up to 50 and then put his foot down in the final 10 overs and really cut loose, which was great to see.
"Tom batted well with him and so did a few others like James and we knew 318 was a good score and really hard to chase at this level of cricket."
It proved that way with John Curtis (2-44) and Louis Pickering (2-60) reducing Southend to 56-3 early on, before Peck (2-23) and Nabeel Aziz (0-35) got to work.
Joe Robbins scored a fine 112 to help the visitors reach 257-9 and bat out their overs, but Upminster were always in control and are 28 points above the relegation zone with five matches left.
Peck concluded: "We bowled well at the start and at drinks they were around 85-3 and needing 10-an-over so it was a tall order.
"Nabeel and I managed to keep it tight, but Joe Robbins batted really well, he is a class player, but we restricted them and got the win by 61 runs in the end.
"It was good to close them out, Louis and 'Fester' bowled well, Nicky Ison picked up a neck injury which was a shame, but all five of the bowlers bowled well."