The big games are piling up for Peterborough Town and that’s just how skipper David Clarke likes it.
Town pulled 10 points clear of the chasing pack with a nine-wicket thrashing of Brixworth in the Northants Premier Division at Bretton Gate last weekend (May 21) which is a handy buffer as they travel to star-studded reigning champions Rushden tomorrow (May 28).
Town also face a huge game on Sunday (May 29) when travelling to reigning Leicestershire Premier Division champions Kibworth in the third round of the National KO Cup.
It’s effectively a semi-final for the Eastern region and one Town must tackle without their Cambridgeshire Minor Counties stars.
“Weekends like this are why we play cricket,” Clarke enthused. “They are two massive games for the club, but they are two games we believe we can win.
“Rushden were worthy Northants champions last year. They assembled a very strong side and were pretty much unbeatable for most of the summer. We lost badly to them twice after getting skittled for 160 and 98.
“We didn’t bowl badly in either game, but we will have to apply ourselves much better with the bat.
“They have a very strong side again this summer, but they do have a vulnerability when batting.
“They lost a game earlier this season after being dismissed for a low score and they were struggling last week before the rain arrived.
“But Rushden tend to raise their game against us and we will have to be at our best if we are to get the result we want.”
Clarke is pleased that batsman Tim Young has recovered from a hamstring pull sustained playing for Cambs last weekend enabling him to name an unchanged side.
Regular second-teamers like in-form Alex Mitchell will be required at Kibworth though as Town will be without star men Lewis Bruce, Joe Dawborn and Asim Butt who will be on Cambs duty in their first Minor Counties Championship game of the campaign against Norfolk at Wisbech Town CC.
“Kibworth will be tough to beat,” Clarke added. “They are former winners of this competition, but we go there with nothing to lose.
“It’s a great cricket venue and the younger lads in the team will enjoy the experience.”
Town have been handed a tough first round draw in the Northants Twenty/20 Cup at home to Premier Division Rushton - the team that knocked them out last season - on June 14. Holders Oundle travel to Rushden.
Peterborough Town teams:
(Saturday): D. Clarke, L. Bruce, A. Akhtar, T. Young, M. Howard, A. Butt, J. Smith, D. Sayer, J. Dawborn, M. Danyaal, C. Milner.
(Sunday): D. Clarke, T. Young, M. Howard, J. Smith, D. Sayer, M. Danyaal, C. Milner, B. Ganesan, A. Mitchell, K. Medcalf, F. Adil.
Saturday, May 28
(noon) Premier Division: Oundle v Well’boro, Rushden v Peterborough Town.
(1pm) Division One: Peterborough Town 2nds v Brigstock.
Division Three: Oundle 2nds v Heyford.
Division Eight: Oundle 3rds v St Michaels
LINCS PREMIER DIVISION
(noon): Bourne v Lincoln, Bracebridge Heath v Market Deeping.
(12.30pm) Division One: Burwell 2nds v Nassington, Foxton v Ramsey, Godmnchstr v Wisbech, Waresley v Ketton.
Division Two: March v Warboys, Newborough v Kimbolton, Ufford Park v Saffron Walden 2nds.
SOUTH LINCS LEAGUE
(1.30pm) Premier Division: Belton Pk v Bourne 2nds, M Deeping 2nds v Sleaford 2nds, Spalding v Boston 2nds, Stamford v Long Sutton.
Division One: Baston v Bill’boro, Skegness 2nds v Spalding, Welby Cavaliers v Heckington.
Division Two: Long Sutton v Pinchbeck.
League Cup: Timberlands v Moulton H.
(1pm) Division One: Burghley Park v Hampton, Castor v Stamford.
Division Two: Bharat Sp v Barnack, Buckden v AK 11, Nassington 2nds v Orton Park 2nds.
Division Three: Hampton 2nds v Werrington, Ramsey 3rds v Newborough 2nds, Sawtry v Houghton & Wyton.
Division Four: Bretton v Ketton 2nds, Falcon v Burghley Park 2nds, Orton Park 2nds v Blunham 3rds, Warboys 3rds v Castor 2nds.
Sunday, May 29
MINOR COUNTIES CHAMPIONSHIP
(11am, May 29-May 31) Eastern Division: Cambs v Norfolk (at Wisbech).
NATIONAL CLUB KO
(1pm) Third round: Kibworth v Peterborough Town.
(1.30pm) Division One: Bourne v Wisbech, Nassington v Barnack, Oundle v Market Deeping, Ufford Park v Peterborough Town, Uppingham v Stamford.
Division Two: Ketton v Newborough, King’s Keys v Oakham, March v Castor, Uffington v Whittlesey.
Division Three: Bretton v Werrington, East Carlton v Long Sutton.
Division Four: Hampton v Bourne, Orton Park v Nassington,Thrapston v Ramsey.
Division Five: Castor 2nds v Market Overton, Market Deeping 2nds v Sawtry, Peterborough Town 2nds v Benefield.
Division Six: Huntingdon v Long Sutton 2nds, Newborough 2nds v Hampton 2nds, Spalding v Moulton Harrox 2nds, Whittlesey 2nds v Uffington 2nds.
(1pm) Division Five: Upwood v Sheikh 11.
Monday, May 30
WINKWORTH CUP FINALS DAY
(10.30am, at Sleaford) Sleaford v Bourne (plus final at 4pm)
(12.30pm) Division One: Ketton v Saffron Walden (at Empingham CC), Nassington v Histon, Ramsey v Wisbech.
Division Two: Granta 2nds v Ufford Park, Kimbolton v March, Newborough v Sawston & Babraham.
Wednesday, June 1
(6pm) Group match: Peterborough Town Titans v Castor Harlequins.