Cricket preview - Town plan to remain the dominant force

Lewis Bruce expects to lead Peterborough Town to more glory this summer.
Lewis Bruce expects to lead Peterborough Town to more glory this summer.
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Pre-season confidence is flooding out of Bretton Gate. And no wonder as Peterborough Town’s dominant squad of 2014 appears to have become even stronger.

Town have lost the catching ability of Ashley Rodgers, but replaced him with a potential Minor Counties star in Tim Young and they’ve held on to top professionals Paul McMahon and Asim Butt, the latter turning down a big offer from local rivals Market Deeping.

It’s no surprise therefore to find captain Lewis Bruce in a bullish mood as he contemplates a fourth Northants Premier Division title in a row and another deep run in the National Twenty/20 Cup.

Town reached national Finals Day last season, but lost at the semi-final stage.

“I’d love another long run in the Twenty/20,” Bruce said.

“It was a great effort to reach the last four in the country, but we then lost to a side we should have beaten.

“That’s the way we have to think now as it would be easy to become complacent. We have to maintain our high standards, especially in the biggest games we play.

“We set ourselves new goals every season and with people like Paul McMahon around we will never be short of motivation.

“We’ve done well to keep hold of our best players for another season. Some players have put playing for us ahead of making money and that’s because we consistently provide top-class matches at local and national level.

“Obviously winning our league is a priority and I would expect Finedon to be our biggest rivals as by all accounts they have signed some quality players.”

Town open their Premier Division campaign on Saturday, April 25 at home to Wollaston.

They visit local rivals Oundle the following Saturday when they will run into the best squad the Milton Road men have ever assembled.

That’s the view of Oundle skipper Phil Adams who is looking forward to seeing big-hitter Mal Loye and Zeeshan Manzoor play together.

Loye is a former England, Northants and Lancashire batsman who is coaching Oundle this season.

Manzoor took the local scene by storm last season with some huge-hitting displays for Barnack.