Title race is far from over insists Town skipper Bruce

Paul McMahon took six wickets for Town.
Paul McMahon took six wickets for Town.

Lewis Bruce insists the Northants League Premier Division title race is far from over .

The Peterborough Town skipper was deeply disappointed to see his side lose by 27 runs to table-topping Rushden in Saturday’s clash of the big guns but is not giving up on claiming a fourth successive title.

Rushden have moved 30 points clear of Town and are now red-favourites to complete the job.

But Bruce stated: “There are still six games to play and that’s a massive 180 points up for grabs so we have to remain positive.

“It’s certainly Rushden’s title to lose but anything can happen.

“The weather could certainly play a part. On several occasions in the last few years we’ve managed to play in Peterborough while it’s been chucking it down with rain in Northampton. And four of our last six games are at home.”

Town will be hoping to bounce back on Saturday at Bretton Gate but that match won’t be easy as third-placed Northampton Saints are the visitors.

According to Bruce they possess a couple of very fine players - Dorset Minor Counties bowler Mark Wolstenholme and offspinning all-rounder Corbyn Dolley - who could turn the match Saints’ way.

But Bruce knows he has a few matchwinners of his own.

“We certainly have enough quality in our side to win our last six games, starting against Saints on Saturday,” he added.

“They are a very good side and it will be tough. But we won at their place - even though it was off the last ball - and I’m sure we can do it again.”

Bruce is contemplating tampering with his batting order after the Rushden loss.

“After getting them out for 125 I honestly believed we could knock the runs off without losing a wicket,” confessed Bruce.

“But we didn’t bat at all well (Town were all out for 98) and I think the pressure got to us. We couldn’t cope with the nerves.

“We were 60-5 and suddenly chasing the game and that’s because we lacked experience at the top of the order.

“So I’m moving some of the older guys up the order. I think I’ll open with David Clarke and move Paul McMahon up to bat at four.

“In hindsight that’s what the order should have been on Saturday but then hindsight’s a wonderful thing . . .

“Rushden are a very good side, particularly their bowling, but I was so disappointed with the way we batted.”

McMahon was the chief destroyer for Town as he took six Rushden wickets for just 21 runs off 10.4 overs.On the batting front Town’s best was 24 by Marcus Howard.