ELMSTEAD skipper Aidan O'Brien admits the team's heroics this season have exceeded his wildest dreams.

The Church Road side, promoted last season, are riding high at the top of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship table.

They have won 13 of their 17 matches and have an 18-point cushion over second-placed neighbours and title rivals Wivenhoe.

"It's surreal and something every member and player is savouring," said proud captain O'Brien, ahead of tomorrow's home match against Frinton.

"I knew we'd exceed people’s expectations but not in my wildest dreams did I think we'd be top of the table at this stage in the season.

"We're a genuine team.

"Each week someone different steps up and if you look at the stats, our wickets and runs are shared all over the place, unlike the majority of other teams.

"The team spirit and friendship is key and gets us through tough times.

"If you look around the field, the buzz and atmosphere is incredible and a pleasure to be part of."

With just five games left, O'Brien is backing his side to hold their nerve and cling onto top spot.

However, he insists the players are not under any undue pressure, having already achieved so much.

"We're obviously aiming to win it at this stage," he said.

"But no matter what happens, the pressure is off as the season has already been the most successful in the club's history.

"To put it into perspective, we've never won more than two or three games in division one and haven’t finished outside the relegation zone.

"The pressure is on the teams around us and we're clearly the team to beat, so there's no chance of us getting distracted and we'll take each game as it comes, just like all other weeks.

"What we've achieved after finishing as runners up in division two really is a fairytale and only surpassed by Leicester City winning the Premier League."

Elsewhere in division one this weekend, Wivenhoe are at home to Haverhill and two Essex sides will meet at New Road, as Mistley welcome Witham.

Halstead, Braintree and Maldon are all at home, against Hadleigh, Woolpit and Worlington respectively.

In the North Essex League, the top two in division one are both in action on Sunday.

Leaders Wivenhoe host Eight Ash Green while Frinton head to Elmstead.