Peterborough Town CC chase a Northants Premier Division title hat-trick, but Oundle Town believe they can stop it happening
Peterborough Town skipper David Clarke sees no obvious reason why his close-knit side can’t complete a Northants Premier Division title hat-trick.
Town were comfortable winners of a full-length top-flight season in 2019 and won a Covid-shortened campaign in 2020 when they won every competitive match they played.
The city side have lost talented all-rounder Mohammed Danyaal to a presumably cash-rich Brigstock team and failed in a bid to attract a replacament seamer, but they are minor issues according to Clarke.
“It was a shame to lose Danny and we did try and recruit a new seamer without success, but we still look strong,” Clarke stated. “Our strength is not just the quality of our players, but also the fact that we are a close-knit group who are all good friends.
“Every season we aim first to finish in the top three of the Premier Division and if we end up winning it then that’s a bonus. “We will be the team to beat again though as the rest of the league looks much the same as in recent seasons.
Finedon have seen a couple of good players return to the club and Old Northamptonians will be as strong as ever so the usual suspects will be challenging again.
“But it’s a big advantage for us to have the likes of Josh Smith, Lewis Bruce and Mark Edwards in our side.
“They are top players at this level and a big reason behind our recent successes along with some talented younger players like batsman Sam Jarvis and leg-spinner Karanpal Singh.
“We have the spinners to bowl out sides who are playing for a draw and the aggressive batsmen to do well in the straight win/lose games so we should go well again.”
All matches in the Premier Division are played over 50 overs per side with draws available in the first-half of the season. It’s straight/win lose matches in the second half of the summer when coloured clothing will be worn.
Middle order batsman Nick Paskins has returned to the club after a year away.
Town start their season at home to Desborough on Saturday (April 24, 11am start).
Oundle Town open their Northants Premier Division campaign at Rushden & Higham on Saturday and their skipper Mark Hodgson believes they are strong title contenders.
Oundle Town skipper Mark Hodgson believes his team are ready to make a sustained challenge for Northants Premier Division honours.
The men from Milton Road have been steady improvers over the last couple of seasons. Oundle finished seventh in 2018 and fourth in 2019 when they were one of only two teams to topple champions Peterborough Town.
Last season they finished second to Town in a shortened season before bowing out in the semi-finals of the play-offs.
“We have proved over the last couple of season we can beat anyone on our day,” Hodgson stated. “If we can add some consistency then it should be an exciting season for us. “I reckon we will be right up there this year.”
Oundle have been trying to recruit an overseas batsman, but Covid has made such a manouevre difficult,
They will be hampered by the absence of key batsman/wicketkeeper Dan Robinson because of injury for the first month of the summer, but Pete Foster, who can fill both roles, is back.
Oundle have also been boosted by the decision of gifted left-arm slow bowler Harrison Craig to stay at the club after resisting overtures from the East Anglian Premier League.
“Pete Foster will have a great season in my opinion,” Hodgson added. “It’s also great to watch David Foster bowl when he’s available.
“The Craig brothers Conor and Harrison will be big players for us as will all-rounderr Tom Norman now he’s fully fit.
“I really fancy Conor Craig to go well. He has always been talented, but he’s another year older and wiser now so he will be one of the top all-rounders in the league.”