Castor confident of a title challenge, Aussies pitch up at Ramsey and Wisbech, ins and outs at March, Stamford and Ufford Park

Castor skipper Reece Smith in action.
Castor skipper Reece Smith in action.
0
Have your say

Castor skipper Reece Smith is confident his side will challenge for Cambs Division Two honours this season.

He was similarly bullish 12 months ago, but his side finished mid-table after a frustratingly inconsistent campaign.

March Town overseas star Saranga Rajaguru.

March Town overseas star Saranga Rajaguru.

Smith’s positivity comes from a squad that appears to have improved in all areas.

All-rounder George Butler has pitched up at Port Lane after leaving Lincoln, while prolific batsman David Cooper has arrived from Newborough.

But Smith believes his most potent weapon was at the club last season.

“Stuart Dockerill has put on a yard of pace from last season,” Smith enthused. “And he was lethal with the new ball anyway.”

Wisbech captain Gary Freear in full flow.

Wisbech captain Gary Freear in full flow.

Stuart’s brother Cameron, an opening batsmen, has moved away because of work commitments, while enigmatic batsman Mark Wheat has taken early retirment, but Castor have also strengthened by signing Aussie Brandon Purcell.

Ufford Park and Stamford Town both appear likely to settle for safety in Division Two.

Stamford have also recruited from Newborough in the shape of dogged veteran batsman Dave Stratton. Opening bowler Tim Juggins has also returned to the club after a brief spell at Oundle.

By all accounts Division One clubs have been throwing money at recruitment, notably Sawston & Babraham who have signed up former Leicesterhire professional Ben Smith as a coach. Smith will still play for Oundle when his commitments allow.

Wisbech, who refuse to pay players, have nevertheless tempted two Australians to the Fens, while March are delighted to have re-signed last year’s successful overseas player Saranga Rajaguru. Ramsey have also signed up a couple of Aussies.

There’s a Cambs Division Three this season which involves AK 11, Bharat Sports, Newborough and Wisbech seconds.

The Cambs League starts this Saturday (May 4).

CLUB GUIDE

CASTOR

Competition: Cambs Division Two.

Captain: Reece Smith.

Ins: David Cooper George Butler, Brandon Purcell.

Outs: Mark Wheat, Cameron Dockerill.

One to watch: Opening bowler Stuart Dockerill is an excellent prospect who is getting better by the season.

Club comment: “We’re looking to win the league. We’ve recruited well,” said Smith.

Swanny’s verdict: Top six, top three if the Aussie is good.

MARCH TOWN

Competition: Cambs Division One.

Captain: Tyler Phillips.

Ins: Andrew George.

Outs: No-one

One to watch: Gifted batsman Brandon Phillips should come into his own this season.

Club comment: “We are hoping to get off to fast start to prove we can compete in this division,” said Phillips.

Swanny’s verdict: Lower half finish as usual.

RAMSEY

Competition: Cambs Division One.

Captain: Michael Cafferkey.

Ins: Harrison Purcell Kevin Carlson.

Outs: No-one

One to watch: Mark Saunders is a gifted young leg-spinner.

Club comment: ‘Hoping a very young side can finish mid-table,”said Cafferkey.

Swanny’s verdict: Mid-table obscurity it is then.

STAMFORD TOWN

Competition: Cambs Division Two.

Captain: Tom Williams.

Ins: Dave Stratton Tim Juggins.

Outs: Will Dyer.

One to watch: Batsman Andrew Hulme is ready for a big season after disappointing form by his standards last summer

Club comment: “We hope our home form can take us into mid-table,” said Williams.

Swanny’s verdict: Seventh of 10.

UFFORD PARK

Competition: Cambs Division Two.

Captain: Ross Keymer

Ins: No-one

Outs: No-one

One to watch: Joe Harrington can add runs to his regular haul of wickets.

Club comment: “Aiming for more consistency this season which should see us safely in mid-table,” said Keymer.

Swanny’s verdict: Eighth of 10.

WISBECH TOWN

Competition: Cambs Division One.

Captain: Gary Freear.

Ins: Guy Hammond, Hamish McCullogh.

Outs: Wian Pretorious.

One to watch: There’s a buzz at Harecroft Road about Hammond who is a young opening bowler from Sydney with genuine pace.

Club comment: “We will be very competitive again. I am a lot happier with competition for places this season,” said Freear.Swanny’s verdict: Top four, maybe even better.