LONG-SERVING Colchester and East Essex bowler Ben Stephens insists the best is yet to come from them – despite their impressive start to the season.

The Castle Park side lie second in Shepherd Neame Essex League division one, heading into their trip to play Five and Heronians tomorrow.

Darren Eckford’s side have been in fine fettle so far, winning four of their opening five league games and are currently ten points adrift of leaders Shenfield.

It has been an encouraging start but bowler Stephens is confident that there is still plenty more to come from them.

Stephens said: “It’s been a good start but I think the best is still to come from us.

“I think we can get better and better.

“When the 45-over format comes in where sides can use five bowlers, it will really suit us.

“We’re all pulling together and it’s a real team effort at the moment.

“It’s a tight knit squad and everyone’s really happy for each other.”

Colchester’s promotion credentials face another test this weekend at Five and Heronians, who lie fourth in the table having won three and lost two of their league games so far.

The teams have already met this season, with Colchester beating their Chigwell-based opponents by two wickets in the Dukes Essex League Cup last month.

“We’ve played Fives already this season, in the cup,” added Stephens.

“We won that game but there have some very good players in their team and it won’t be a walkover, by any means.

“They’re fourth in the table and going along nicely, so it will be a difficult game.”

Stephens is unavailable for tomorrow’s trip to Five and Heronians but director of cricket Julian Russell is available to return.

Colchester’s second team are in action at Castle Park tomorrow.

Andrew Kennedy’s side entertain Hutton, in Shepherd Neame Essex League Second XI division one.