Oundle aim to knock Town off their Premier Division perch

Joe Dawborn in action for Peterborough Town against Wollaston.
Joe Dawborn in action for Peterborough Town against Wollaston.
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Oundle skipper Phil Adams is looking forward to trying to knock Peterborough Town off their Northants Premier Division perch this weekend.

Oundle gave Town two tough battles last season before the city side raced away to win their third successive league title.

The teams clash at Milton Road on Saturday (noon) and Adams is confident his side will again be competitive as they attempt to build on their maximum-points, 92-run win over Horton House on the opening day of the season.

Town were far less impressive in beating Wollaston by three wickets in a low scoring game at Bretton Gate.

Oundle newcomer Zeeshan Manzoor smashed nine sixes and five fours in an innings of 95 not out that occupied just 43 balls!

Adams said: “All the lads are buoyed by a pretty comprehensive victory last week so we go into this game as confident as we can be.

“Oundle v Town is ,and will always be, a competitive fixture.

I’ve got a lot of respect for Lewis Bruce and his team but at the end of the day it’s a local derby and I can guarantee the lads will be up for this.

“We have lads in form and in Zeeshan we have a different class of batter which really adds some balance to our top six.

“Last season we drew with Town and then lost by a narrow margin so we’re even hungrier to knock them over this time.”

Bruce is well aware of Oundle’s ability, but he expects his team to have more firepower.

Bruce said: “Petrus Jeftha is a match-winner for them and he almost bowled them to victory against us last season.

“But we have match-winners throughout our side and we go into the game in good form.

“Our bowling was exceptional last week especially up top and we didn’t bat as poorly as the scorecard would suggest. We just found some strange ways of getting out.

“Oundle seem to improve every season, but they will need to be more positive this season if they are to progress.”

Town’s England Under 17 fast bowler David Sayer is out for three months with a back injury so Bruce will name an unchanged side with Kieran Jones playing the role of support seamer.

Adams returns after missing the game at Horton House. Former Northants and England batsman Mal Loye is not expected to be involved.

Bruce claimed 5-17 from 11 overs last weekend as Wollaston were dismissed for just 92. Paul McMahon (3-24) offered most support after seamers Jamie Smith and Joe Dawborn bowled well without luck at the start of the innings.

Town always looked likely to win despite losing wickets at regular intervals.

Emerging talent Marcus Howard batted best for an unbeaten 28 which included a straight six to get off the mark.

No-one on the Town side can match Manzoor for pure striking ability though.

His onslaught enabled Oundle to post 253, a total Horton never threatened thanks to Richard Cunningham, Bashrat Hussain and Ben Graves who each claimed three wickets.

Town have won three of the four Premier Division matches against Oundle since the latter were promoted to the top flight. The other, at Oundle last season, was drawn.