Billericay and Hadleigh & Thundersley head into tomorrow’s Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division clashes full of confidence.

Billericay beat rivals Southend & EMT last weekend to move up to sixth in the standings.

They now make the short trip to Brentwood looking to build on a strong start to the 50 over format.

Although captain Lee Knight is taking nothing for granted against Brentwood, who have accrued 10 more points than them so far this season.

“Brentwood are a very strong side and we expect a tough game,” said the Billericay skipper.

“It was good to secure a win over Southend last weekend following a blip the week before. It was nice to play some good cricket again and get a positive result.

“The mood in the camp is pretty good,” he added. “We are quite a close knit team of similar age and attitude towards our cricket, we are hopeful of a good season but don’t underestimate how difficult the challenge of Premier League cricket will be.

“I think every game is significant in this particular format, if you can string together a couple of wins it can propel you up the league but obviously the opposite effect should you go on a bad run.”

Hadleigh & Thundersley have beaten Billericay and Shenfield in recent weeks to climb out of the relegation places.

They welcome last season’s champions Chelmsford with both in need of points. Chelmsford find themselves second from bottom after six matches.

“We take a lot of confidence from the Shenfield and Billericay victories and hope to make it three wins on the bounce,” said press officer David Williams.

“With Chelmsford being league winners last year we know we’ll be in for a tough contest. Wins at this stage of the season do mean a lot more, as it is limited overs cricket losing teams find that they’re less likely to be picking up a lot of bonus points.

“We’re playing good cricket at the moment, and as long as that continues the results should take care of themselves.”

One team in desperate need of a turnaround in fortunes is Southend & EMT,

Five defeats and a draw from their six matches have left them rock bottom of the league, already 44 points adrift of second bottom Chelmsford.

They now host Shenfield, with captain Tom Phillippe urging his team to get a crucial victory.

“This week is super important to get our first win on the board,” he said. “The teams around us are winning and putting distance between us so we need to close the gap. The next few games will define the season. We have been playing some good cricket in patches but need to put it into a whole package.

“We are without a couple of injured players but I believe we have a strong enough squad to replace players with someone as good.”