Lewis wants a fast start in the race to a fourth straight title

Asim Butt and David Clarke have been re-united at Peterborough Town.

Asim Butt and David Clarke have been re-united at Peterborough Town.

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Peterborough Town are determined to stamp their authority on the Northants Premier Division from the first ball this season.

Last year Town drew three of their four first four matches before romping to their third straight title.

But skipper Lewis Bruce is demanding a faster start from a team that looks stronger than ever this summer.

Town begin the defence of their title at home to Wollaston on Saturday, April 25 (noon start).

“We took a while to get going last year, partly because teams played very defensively against us,” Bruce stated.

“So I’m looking for us to get on top of teams from the start this time around.

“We have looked pretty sharp in pre-season games with all the batsmen scoring runs and the bowlers have also hit their stride.

“Our batting line-up looks stronger this season with the return of David Clarke and the arrival of Tim Young.

“Tim scored two half centuries last weekend and looks a quality addition to the squad.

“Complacency would be my biggest concern, but I don’t believe it will be a problem.

“We have enjoyed winning lots of games and we want to continue doing that.

“Wollaston used to be a bit of a bogey team for us, but we beat them comfortably twice last season and we will certainly start favourites as long as they haven’t signed any star players I don’t know about!”

Bruce will head a batting line-up that looks formidable on paper. The captain is the only player short of pre-season runs, partly because he’s been pre-occupied with the birth of his first child Leo, who arrived at the end of last week.

Asim Butt will open up with Bruce with Clarke, who spent last summer helping Ramsey win Cambs Division One, batting at three.

Callum French, Young and rapidly improving local lad Marcus Howard make up a powerful top six.

Snarling seamer Joe Dawborn and professional off-spinner Paul McMahon will lead a quality bowling attack.

Town are also aiming for more success in Twenty/20 cricket this summer with the Jaidka Cup a major target.

Town have been awful in the Jaidka in recent seasons in contrast with their strong showings in the Northants County and National Twenty/20 competitions.

Town have been drawn against Castor and Nassington in a re-vamped 2015 Jaidka Cup.

Town’s second Northants Premier Division game is at local rivals Oundle on May 2.

Oundle skipper Phil Adams believes his side is better than the one that finished in an impressive fifth place last season.

Oundle, who have former Northants and England player Mal Loye in their ranks this season, open their campaign at Horton House.