Billericay promotion hopes hang in the balance in final day showdown

Billericay skipper Stewart Rutland is hopeful of promotion

Billericay skipper Stewart Rutland is hopeful of promotion

First published in Sport by

BILLERICAY are hoping their rivals slip up on the final day of the season as they bid to leapfrog them into Division One.

The south Essex side have enjoyed a remarkable run of form in the past six weeks, winning five of their last six matches to give them a fighting chance come the last day – including a win over rivals Leigh-on-Sea last time out.

And Stewart Rutland’s side know that if they beat Gidea Park & Romford tomorrow they are in with a shout of promotion, barring the outcome of Orsett’s clash with Belhus.

If either side wins the clash they will be promoted alongside champions Hornchurch.

Even fifth placed side Fives & Heronians could be promoted if results go their way.

Stewart Rutland said all his side could do was focus on their own match and hope for the best in the other match 15 miles down the road.

“We have to play for the win,” he said. “It is unfortunate we couldn’t pick up a few more points along the way as I think there will be a winner in their match this weekend.

“There is a lot of positivity in the camp and we are approaching this match as a great opportunity. To have put ourselves in this position at all shows how good we have been in recent weeks.

“It is good the league has been so competitive this year. We are in good company and it is nice to just be in with a shout.”

Leigh-on-Sea’s promotion chances were ended by Billericay last weekend, meaning their final day match at West Essex is something of a dead rubber. That is not the case for the hosts though, as they are trying to stave off the threat of relegation.

And Leigh captain Dean Waller said it was a frustrating way to end what had been an impressive season.

“It is a difficult one,” admitted Waller. “We have to go there with the same attitude as if we were playing for promotion otherwise we will lose the game. Saying that we have enough about us to win and then we look onto next year.”

Waller said he was looking for more availability from his team next year, after a number of his players were unavailable for one reason or another this year, but praised the home-grown talent in the squad.

“With a full squad to choose from we are a match for anyone. We have a lot of very good players here and I hope we can still achieve promotion in my five year plan. I have been captain for three years and think we still have more to offer.”

Horndon-on-the-Hill secured their division two status last weekend, having looked destined for the drop after a terrible start to the year. They host Fives & Heronians in their final game.

Westcliff-on-Sea have had a disastrous season, having failed to win any of their 17 matches. They will be looking to end the year on a high before their return to division three – although they are up against champions Hornchurch at Chalkwell Park.

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