French takes leave from Town while Joe is a first-class target

Joe Dawborn is attracting interest from first-class counties.
Joe Dawborn is attracting interest from first-class counties.
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Peterborough Town’s all-conquering Northants Premier Division side is in danger of breaking up.

Key top order batsman Callum French has left Bretton Gate for work and romantic reasons. He will now play for North Devon in the Devon Premier League.

And first-class counties have started sniffing around Town’s explosive fast bowler Joe Dawborn. He is currently playing for Leicestershire in a second XI fixture against Derbyshire at Grace Road, while Northants have also expressed an interest in the 21 year-old.

French scored 704 runs in the Premier Division last season - the sixth highest total in the competition - while Dawborn topped the wicket-taking charts in the top flight with 60.

He bagged 6-28 last weekend when Town crushed local rivals Oundle by 10 wickets.

“It’s obviously disappointing to lose Callum,” Town skipper Lewis Bruce stated.

“He’s not just a top player, he’s also a great lad so he will be sorely missed. It’s an opportunity for other players though.

“Joe should be playing for a first-class county in my opinion. He’s too good for most of the batsmen in the Premier League.

“He’s too skilful and too clever. In fact if he was as clever off the pitch as he is on it, he’d probably be a rocket scientist.

“Leicestershire are having a look at him now and Northants contacted him over the weekend which is interesting as they had him in their Academy for a couple of years.

“Joe is still our player for now, but if he did leave to play professionally we’d all be delighted for him.

“He has pretty much played cricket non-stop for three years and there is no sign of a dip in his form.”

Oundle slipped from 36-0 to 75 all-out once Dawborn found his stride.

Professional Paul McMahon took a wicket with his first ball and two wickets in his first over on his way to figures of 3-3.

Asim Butt (42no) and Bruce (32no) sped Town to victory in just over 10 overs, but, incredibly, Town find themselves in fifth place despite two easy wins ahead of Saturday’s clash with Brixworth at Bretton Gate (noon).

“We won in three hours after losing the toss and yet lost ground on other teams just because they were able to bat first.

“It’s ridiculous really. I have no problem with teams inserting the opposition receiving fewer points after winning, but when it’s out of your own control then you shouldn’t be penalised.

“Still we just have to keep on winning and the table will then look after itself.

“I was surprised how easily we beat Oundle especially on a wicket that was lifeless. but it’s good to see that out motivation for a fourth straight title is still strong.

“Brixworth have some good players and will give us more trouble than Oundle managed, but if we play to our best we should win.”

Bruce will finalise his team for Brixworth after net practice tonight (Thursday).

England Under 17 bowler David Sayer remains on the sidelines because of a serious back injury.