Kirk left beaming by how youngsters cope with increased expectation

3:59pm Thursday 29th May 2014

GARY Kirk says he is impressed with the way Clacton Cricket Club’s young players are dealing with increased expectation levels so far this season.

But the Seasiders manager has warned there is still a long way to go, despite the first team’s impressive start to life in Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship.

Clacton racked up a fifth league win of the division four campaign with an emphatic nine-wicket triumph over Copdock, on Bank Holiday Monday.

The result leaves them sitting pretty at the top of the table, following their withdrawal from the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League earlier this year.

Kirk said: “We’re doing really well.

“I think everyone expected us to but you still have to put the results together.

“I don’t think some people realise that we lost 11 first-team players.

“When we play teams, they seem to believe that we have the same team that played in the Premier League last year but that’s not true.

“I don’t think what happened should be under-estimated and lesser clubs would have folded in that situation.

“We’ve put together a side of local players and it’s testament to the lads that we’re doing so well at the moment.

“We need to focus on this season – we have a long way to go but we couldn’t have done much better than we have.

“All of our teams are doing well, at this moment in time.”

Clacton’s bowlers were in excellent form against Copdock, helping to dismiss their hosts for 62.

Ryan Chamberlain led the way with four for 18, with Lewis Kirk (three for 26) claiming three wickets and Billy Occleshaw (one for two) and Jack Occleshaw (one for 12) also chipping in.

The Seasiders had no trouble scoring the required runs, with Scott Facey and Hugo Nel unbeaten unbeaten at the close as Clacton romped to victory.

“When you look at the score, you might think that Copdock didn’t have much of a side out,” said long-serving club stalwart Kirk.

“But they had five Premier League players in their team.

“I think it was a good judge of where we are and we performed well.

“The bowlers all played their part and it was a very convincing win.”

Clacton had been left frustrated by the rain two days earlier, after their match against Halstead II was abandoned.

The Seasiders claimed 11 points from the game, having reached 255 for seven when the rain came.

Clacton play Copdock again this weekend at Vista Road, 1pm start.

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