Ison hoping Upminster bounce back in derby after first loss

James Evans in batting action for Upminster at Upminster Park

James Evans in batting action for Upminster at Upminster Park - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Upminster captain Alan Ison is hoping his side can bounce back from their first loss of the season and beat Harold Wood on Saturday.

After four successive wins in Dukes Essex League Cup and Hamro Foundation Essex League Division One, Ison's men slipped to a 34-run home loss against Loughton last weekend.

The visitors piled up 350-4 after openers Alan Jones (69) and Hamza Ahmed (115) put on 181, with Sagar Joshi (69) and Omar Akram (67 not out) adding half-centuries as Ollie Peck (2-48) nabbed a brace.

Ison said: "Hamza and Alan played really well. We had a chance early on but didn't take it and we bowled a bit loosely, but you have to give them credit.

"It's a fast-scoring ground, but we thought 350 was gettable."

James Evans put on 106 in reply with JJ Smuts (47), after Nehal Butt fell cheaply, and added 57 with Kiran Kullar before falling for 82, having hit two sixes and 11 fours in his 84-ball innings.

Ison and Tom Daniels followed in quick succession as the hosts slipped from 164-2 to 173-5, but Harry Jenkins (48 off 30) dominated an 86-run stand with Kullar, whose departure for 66 left Upminster 268-8.

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Ollie Todd (30) and Billy Wright then put on 48 for the ninth wicket, but it was not to be, as Loughton avenged their 21-run cup loss on April 23.

Ison added: "It's good to see James batting well this year and Kiran played well too but we lost wickets at the wrong times.

"Harry played really well, he was hitting it really clean, and I thought we'd get over the line.

"There were some good knocks and it's a shame we didn't get there but they played well."

Wood, meanwhile, fell to their third straight loss in the league, going down by seven wickets at Ilford, but Ison is taking nothing for granted.

"They're struggling a bit, but they've still got some good players, like Taqi Abbas, Craig Perrin, Shahbaz Khan.

"You only need one win and you can get a bit of momentum, so we're expecting a tough local derby.

"But three wins out of four will be a good position to be in. We're at full strength and will be looking for maximum points."