CRICKET: Oundle pose a serious threat to Peterborough Town’s perfect start

In-form Oundle batsman Mark Hodgson.

In-form Oundle batsman Mark Hodgson.

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Peterborough Town captain David Clarke has warned his players not to under-estimate the threat from Oundle Town’s youngsters tomorrow (May 7).

The neighbours clash at Bretton Gate (noon) when Peterborough will seek a third straight win.

Alex Mitchell has been promoted to the Peterborough Town first team.

Alex Mitchell has been promoted to the Peterborough Town first team.

They will be favourites, but Clarke believes Oundle pose a serious threat to his team’s perfect start, especially if they don’t show improved form with the bat.

Town have scrambled past Wollaston by two wickets in a low-scoring game at Bretton Gate on the opening day of the season and won at Stony Stratford last weekend (April 30) by 16 runs despite making just 64 on a seamer’s paradise of a pitch.

Clarke said: “Oundle had a good win against Northampton Saints last weekend and they are always tough to beat.

“They could easily have won the last two meetings against us at Bretton Gate. It’s a match we always look forward to though. There’s always a few spectators watching for a start.

“We can play a lot better ourselves though. We haven’t scored any runs in our two games so far, but I wouldn’t blame the batsmen entirely. The track we played on last week at Stony Stratford was virtually unplayable.

“We have a top five all capable of scoring hundreds and they will fire soon enough, hopefully against Oundle.

“We’ve shown great character and fighting spirit in the matches so far though. Jamie Smith (he took 6-6) bowled as well as I’ve ever seen him and the catch Tim Young took in the gully to dismiss Stony’s overseas player was unbelievable.”

Town, last season’s runners-up, and reigning champions Rushden are the only teams with perfect playing records after two matches.

Oundle’s team against a decent Northampton Saints last weekend had an average age of under 21. Skipper Mark Hodgson top scored with 64 in a five-wicket win, while youngsters Ben Graves (37 & 3-51) and Jack Bolsover (30 & 3-30) enjoyed excellent all-round days.

It will be a first look for Peterborough at Oundle’s new South African paceman Tshepo Moreki who has yet to catch fire in his two appearances so far.

Alex Mitchell replaces Marcis Howard who is on exam duty.

Town’s scheduled National Club KO Cup tie on Sunday (May 8) against Buckingham Town has been cancelled as the visitors have withdrawn from the competition,

Ramsey are in National Cup action on Sunday and have a much tough task away to reigning East Anglian Premier Division champions, Norfolk-based Swardeston.

Bourne host reigning Lincs Premier Division champions Bracebridge Heath at the Abbey Lawns tomorrow, when Deeping travel to Skegness.

Pick of the Cambs League games tomorrow will take place at Nassington where unbeaten Wisbech are the visitors.

Fixtures

SATURDAY MAY 7

NORTHANTS LEAGUE

(noon): Premier Division: Peterborough Town v Oundle.

(1pm) Division One: Overstone v Peterborough Town 2nds.

Division Three: Oundle 2nds v Great Houghton.

Division Eight: Barton S v Oundle 3rds.

LINCS PREMIER DIVISION

(noon): Bourne v Bracebridge Heath, Skegness v Market Deeping.

CAMBS LEAGUE

(noon) Division One: Ketton v Burwell, Nassington v Wisbech, Ramsey v Histon.

Division Two: Huntingdon v March, Ufford Park v Weston Colville, Warboys v Newborough.

SOUTH LINCS LEAGUE

(1.30pm): Premier Division: Grantham 2nds v Bourne 2nds, Long Sutton v Spalding, Market Deeping 2nds v Stamford.

Division One: Spalding 2nds v Moulton Harrox, Welby v Baston.

Division Two: Pinchbeck v Grantham 4ths.

HUNTS LEAGUE

(1pm): Division One: Stamford v Godmanchester 2nds, Ickwell v Castor, Hampton v Waresley 2nds, Burghley Park v Ramsey 2nds.

Division Two: Barnack v Blunham 2nds, Peterborough Town 3rds v Warboys 2nds, Buckden v Orton Park, Bharat Sports v AK 11.

Division Three: Werrington v Huntingdon 2nds, Sawtry v Alconbury, Ramsey 3rds v Upwood.

Division Four: Castor v Brampton, Hemingford v King’s Keys, Great Staughton v Burghley Park 2nds, Falcon v Bretton.

Division Five: Sheikh v Eltisley.

SUNDAY, MAY 8

NATIONAL CLUB KO

(1pm) second round: Swardeston v Ramsey.

RUTLAND LEAGUE

(1.30pm): Division One: Bourne v Ufford Park, Nassington v Stamford, Oundle v Barnack, Peterborough Town v Uppingham (at Uppingham), Wisbech v Market Deeping.

Division Two: Castor v Uffington, Grantham v King’s Keys, March v Ketton, Newborough v Whittlesey.

Division Three: Bretton v Wisbech 2nds, Kettering v Long Sutton, Stewart & Lloyds v Burghley Park, Weldon v Werrington.

Division Four: Easton v Loddington, Hampton v Kimbolton, Isham v Nassington 2nds, Ramsey v Bourne 2nds.

Division Five: Laxton v Weldon 2nds, Market Deeping 2nds v Benefield, Sawtry v Castor 2nds, Uppingham 2nds v Peterborough Town 2nds.

Division Six: Huntingdon v Moulton Harrox, Long Sutton 2nds v Uffington 2nds, Orton Park v Bourne 2nds.

MONDAY, MAY 9

STAMFORD CHARITY CUP

(6pm): First round: Burghley Park v Stamford, Castor v Uppingham, Ketton v Hampton, King’s Keys v Barnack, Nassington v Market Deeping, Orton Park v Bourne, Ufford Park v Falcon,

WEDNESDAY, MAY 11

JAIDKA CUP

(6pm): Group matches: Peterborough Town v Castor, March v Wisbech.