Vice-captain warns Crouch End 'hard work starts now'
PUBLISHED: 13:00 10 July 2019
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The Calthorpe club have enjoyed a remarkable campaign to date after promotion to the second tier
Crouch End are sitting first in the Middlesex County Division Two table at the halfway mark, but Pratik Patel knows now is not the time to get carried away.
The Calthorpe club have enjoyed a huge amount of success since they won promotion to Division Three in 2017.
Last weekend, a six-wicket win at home to Wycombe House sent Hiren Desai's men back to the summit ahead of Saturday's clash with second-placed Brondesbury.
Vice-captain Patel said: "We're pleased with how things are going so far. The acquisition of Tom Scollay, who is a senior player in our team, has really helped.
"He has a lot of experience in Division Two and higher and has been crucial, especially off the field in terms of the way we prepare and also on it.
"We're definitely happy with how things have gone so far, but we know it's only halfway and this is when things should get harder."
Wycombe House won the toss at Calthorpe on Saturday and had a bat first, but they were dismissed for 183 in the 51st over.
Patel did the majority of the damage, taking 7-46 off 15.4 overs with Natim Hassam picking up three wickets too on an excellent day for both.
The seven-wicket haul for the vice-captain was followed up by an unbeaten 60 to ensure Crouch End got home with time to spare.
Hassam contributed 39 as well and the Calthorpe club enjoyed more success a day later in the Bertie Joel Trophy.
Crouch End defeated higher level opposition in Chingford, winning by 47 runs after opener Jalpesh Vijay smashed a brilliant 166 off only 119 balls.
The visitors posted 313-7 from 45 overs and the home side could only make 266-6 in reply to give the Division Two title hopefuls yet another victory.
Patel added: "We do back our ability against anyone and know if we focus on what we do, then the outcome will come.
"We train twice a week and someone asked me recently what our aim is and it's simply to be the hardest working team in Division Two.
"I'm not sure if there have been three back-to-back promotions, so who know what will happen, but we are happy so far."
Crouch End face a big challenge on Saturday when they entertain Brondesbury, who have 62 points and trail the leaders by five points.
"All the boys are excited about the game and we really respect Brondesbury," vice-captain Patel said.
"They are a Premier Division team in our eyes and have some outstanding players, so we don't mind being the underdogs on this occasion.
"We are happy to take that tag, but we are just looking forward to it and can't wait for the battle to get underway."