PREVIEW: Boost for Ramsey on the eve of the season, new era for Stamford Town, while Wisbech, Castor and Ufford Park all in confident mood

New Stamford Town skipper Tom Williams in action.
New Stamford Town skipper Tom Williams in action.
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Cambs Division One title fancies Ramsey have received a pre-season boost with the return to the club of all-rounder Taylor West.

West had accepted a professional’s role at a Birmingham League club, but that has now fallen through so he will be at Saffron Walden tomorrow (April 21) with the rest of the Rams along with new all-rounder Nikhil Gotlanta from Perse School.

Callum Young (left) is back with March Town CC.

Callum Young (left) is back with March Town CC.

Wisbech, another team with hopes of a high finish, start their season at home to Saffron Walden, while Castor, Ufford Park and Stamford Town are in Division Two action. Newly-promoted Stamford open their new era with a Division Two game at St Ives tomorrow and new skipper Tom Williams is in confident mood.

“This is a step into the unknown for us,” Williams said of last season’s Hunts Division One champions. “But we are confident we can beat any team in the league on our day.

“After winning all nine Hunts Division One home games last season our aim is to turn Uffington Road into a fortress again.”

Teams were offered the chance to delay the start of the season by an extra week because of the poor weather, but only March Town took advantage.

Wisbech skipper Gary Freear is confident his side will go well.

Wisbech skipper Gary Freear is confident his side will go well.

Eaton Socon, who have recruited heavily in new talent including paceman Joe Dawborn from Peterborough Town, could be among this season’s Division One frontrunners along with Wisbech Town, Ramsey and Foxton.

Wisbech are quietly confident of improving on last season’s third-place finish, especially as champions Ketton have moved across to the Leicestershire League.

The Fenmen have two overseas players – one has an English passport – with all-rounder Wian Pretorious arriving from South Africa and left-arm seamer Liam Barker flying in from Australia.

Successful off-spinner Chris Clark is also back after a handful of seasons away from the game.

“I always fancy us to be there or thereabouts,” Wisbech captain Gary Freear said. “But this could be a great season for us.”

March finished in the bottom two last season, but avoided relegation due to a restructuring of the league.

They should do much better now that former stars Callum Young and Shardul Brahambhatt have returned.

Division Two side Castor have pulled off a high profile signing with former Peterborough Town and Cambs superstar Dominic Ralfs commiting for the summer.

Ralfs (50) has been playing darts for the same pub team as Castor skipper Reece Smith and should be a great mentor for the club’s talented teenage seamers Aiden Steels and Stuart Dockerill.

It will be tough for Division Two clubs though as further Cambs League restructuring means only one team will be promoted and four will be relegated to the new Division Three in 2019.

Ufford Park are under the captaincy of Ross Keymer this season and he thinks his side can challenge for the title,

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Saturday, April 21

Lincs Premier Division (noon): Market Deeping v Bourne.

Cambs Division One (12.30pm): Saffron Walden v Ramsey, Wisbech v Sawston.

Cambs Division Two (12.30pm): Ufford Park v Granta, Castor v Blunham, St Ives v Stamford Town.

South Lincs Premier Division (1pm): Boston 2nds v Spalding, Bourne 2nds v Freiston, Long Sutton v Grantham 2nds, Stamford Town v Billingborough, Welby Cavaliers v Skegness.

South Lincs Division One (1pm): Baston v Moulton Harrox, Skegness 2nds v Market Deeping 2nds.

South Lincs Division Two (1pm): Pinchbeck v Grantham.

Hunts Division One (1pm): Burghley Park v Newborough.

Hunts Division Three (1pm): Ramsey 3rds v King’s Keys.

Sunday, April 22

Rutland Division One (12.30pm): Bourne v Oundle, Ketton Sports v Barnack.

Rutland Division Two (12.30pm): Stamford Town v Market Deeping, Ufford Park v Uppingham Town, Isham v Uffington.

Rutland Division Three West (12.30pm): Uffington 2nds v Stewart & Lloyds.

Rutland Division Four East (12.30pm): Orton Park v Peterborough Town 2nds.

Rutland Division Four West (12.30pm): Barton Seagrave v Ketton Sports 2nds. Nassington 2nds v Benefield.