PREVIEW: Return to form for Peterborough Town is well timed ahead of a huge weekend

Jamie Smith returns for Peterborough Town for the game against Finedon.
Jamie Smith returns for Peterborough Town for the game against Finedon.

Peterborough Town’s return to form couldn’t have been better timed.

Town scrambled to a one-wicket win in the Northants Premier Division last weekend (17) to move within 11 points of top spot.

Big-hitting Hanno Kotze is expected to leave Oundle before the end of the season.

Big-hitting Hanno Kotze is expected to leave Oundle before the end of the season.

It was a first win in four matches for Town who have another tasty top-flight fixture at home to Finedon tomorrow (June 24) before travelling to High Wycombe in an area final in the National Club KO competition.

“It’s a big weekend for us,” Town skipper David Clarke stated. “We have to take care of Finedon first which won’t be easy as they have some good players including a couple of minor counties regulars.

“It looks a wide open league this season so any team who can get on a winning run will have a huge advantage. That’s what we are aiming to do.

““We took a team of 11 batsmen to Saints which won us the game. We made it hard for ourselves with some soft dismissals again, but Saints had two quality spinners on a turning pitch so it’s a good win, and one we needed.”

Fast bowler Jamie Smith returns to the side against Finedon. Clarke will make a late decision on who makes way.

The last time Town reached the area final of the National Club KO Cup, they were hammered by Norfolk League champions Swardeston, but the city side were weakened by numerous minor counties call-ups on that occasion.

That isn’t the case this Sunday. Cambridgeshire are involved in a T20 event, but it’s a friendly competition so Town’s players, with the exception of Cambs’ skipper Lewis Bruce, have committed to their club.

Asim Butt is the other significant absentee for a tough game against a High Wycombe side riding high in the First Division of the Home Counties League.

Oundle were knocked off top spot in the Premier Division after losing heavily at home to Rushton last weekend. They have another tough contest at reigning champions Old Northamptonians tomorrow.

Oundle’s chances of a surprise title win have been hit by news that South African star Hanno Kotze will return home soon to take part in his country’s main Twenty/20 competition.

Kotze will however be involved in Tuesday’s (June 27) Northants Twenty/20 Cup quarter final at Peterborough Town.

It’s a high quality last eight with all remaining clubs boasting top-flight status. One more win means a trip to the Northampton County ground for finals day net month.

Draw: Old Northamptonians v Horton House, Rushton v Brixworth, Peterborough Town v Oundle, Finedon v Wollaston.