Positive signs for Brightlingsea

BRIGHTLINGSEA captain Colin French believes his side can take a lot of positives from their recent performances despite results meaning the coastal outfit are still rooted to the bottom of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division One table.

BRIGHTLINGSEA captain Colin French believes his side can take a lot of positives from their recent performances despite results meaning the coastal outfit are still rooted to the bottom of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division One table.

Eight defeats from nine completed matches doesn't tell the entire story for Brightlingsea, as brave efforts against some of the top-four sides have seen them unlucky not to come away with more.

Having already grabbed seven and eight points from their defeats to Coggeshall and Halstead respectively earlier in the season, Brightlingsea fell just 15 runs short of victory against the division's leaders Sudbury at the weekend.

French said: “We knew it was going to be tough this year, but we were hoping for a few more wins than this so far.


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“I think this division is the strongest it has been for some time, the teams that have come up are very strong and that makes a big difference.

“We are pretty much the same team as last year, but the luck just hasn't gone our way.

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“We probably should have won on Saturday, we bowled pretty tight and kept them down but when we batted we just lost wickets at vital times.

“Everyone was so disappointed afterwards, especially as it was against Sudbury, but we can take a lot of confidence out of the way we have been playing.

“In the coming weeks we have got IES, Mistley and Coggeshall, who are beatable, so it would be nice to pick up three wins before the end of the season. Who knows, that could even be enough to keep us safe.”

Elsewhere in Division One, a five-wicket defeat for Halstead against Maldon meant that Sudbury and Copdock & OI pulled further clear at the top of the table.

Sudbury's win over Brightlingsea kept them top-of-the-table, while Copdock & OI maintained their impressive first season back in the Two Counties top flight with victory over Frinton.

Only 0.36 now separates the top two, with the pair scheduled to face each other on the final day of the season in what could well turn out to be a title decider.

However, Copdock's latest win was tempered somewhat by an ankle injury to prolific pace bowler Bardo Fransman which could rule him out for at least a couple of weeks.

Copdock's James East said: “Bardo is a big loss, but it was quite good to see that we were still able to win without him.

“We have got Maldon and Mildenhall coming up and they will be big tests, but if we get through those games then we are set-up for a real ding-dong affair with Sudbury on the final game.”

In Division One's other games, Coggeshall beat Mistley by six wickets and Mildenhall beat IES by 37 runs.

In Division Two, defeat for Wivenhoe at Elmstead Grasshoppers was not enough to knock the Essex side off the top spot as the match between their main title contenders Exning and Abberton was abandoned.

Lower down in Division Nine, there was amazingly two ties in the same weekend as Kesgrave and Haverhill both ended on 180, while Brockley II and Maldon IV both finished on 192 for seven.

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