Peterborough Town are bottom of the Northants Premier Division, but skipper David Clarke couldn’t be happier with his team’s start to the season.
Town sit at the foot of the table because of a hefty points deduction for an admin error. If they get those 20 points back - and there is an appeal hearing set for next week - Clarke’s men would be in a tidy fourth place ahead of tomorrow’s match with Horton House at Bretton Gate (May 19, noon).
The first XI are actually unbeaten this season after rain ruined a potentially close game at reigning Premier Division champions Old Northamptonians last Saturday. The following day Town secured an excellent 19-run win over Banbury in the second round of the National Clubs KO Cup.
“We’ve started the season very well,” Clarke stated. “It’s been great to see us overcome all sorts of bad luck with injuries and illnesses. I couldn’t be happier.
“Obviously it’s early days, but the lads have pulled together as a team and worked hard in all the matches so far.
“We started badly against Old Northamptonians and Banbury, but we battled our way back into contention.
“It would probably have been a close game in Northampton, but we came away with more points than a very good side so we’ll take that.
“Horton will be a different sort of test. They are full of talented young players and in Ewan Cox they have the highest run scorer in the Premier Division from last season. He’s in good form as he struck a ton last weekend so we could do with getting him out early.”
Key batsman Asim Butt was a late drop out last weekend because of illness, but he’s expected back for Saturday as is top all-rounder Lewis Bruce.
Richard Kendall, one of the star men at ONs last weekend, is unavailable which could mean a start for highly-rated 16 year-old off-spinner Mohammed Saif.
Town, who lost their opening Jaidka Cup match at home to Bourne on Wednesday (May 16), are back in T20 action on Sunday (May 20) when travelling to Rushton in the Northants Cup.
The competition has a different format this season with groups of four and Sunday afternoon game. Town are also in the same group as Wollaston and Finedon.
Rushton knocked Town out at the semi-final stage last season, but they’ve lost a few top players since then.
Town (v Horton House from): D. Clarke, A. Butt. L. Bruce, D. Sayer, D. Malik, M. Saif, J. Smith, K. Judd, A. Mitchell, V. Bajaj, C. Milner, M. Milner.
Oundle Town have a tough Premier Division game at Finedon tomorrow when Market Deeping take on Lincs Premier Division champions Bracebridge Heath at Outgang Road. Bourne are at Grantham who also Peterborough Town in Rutland Division One on Sunday (May 20).
Oundle then host Northampton Saints in the Northants T20 on Sunday. Brixworth and Geddington complete their group.
Saturday, May 19
Premier Division (noon): Peterborough Town v Horton House, Finedon v Oundle.
LINCS PREMIER DIVISION
(noon): Grantham v Bourne, Market Deeping v Bracebridge Heath.
Division One (12.30pm): March v Godmanchester, Ramsey v Histon.
Division Two (12.30pm): Castor v Saffron Walden 2nds, Great Shelford v Ufford Park, Southill Park v Stamford Town.
Sunday, May 20
NORTHANTS T20 CUP
(2pm) Pool 1: Rushton v Peterborough Town.
(2pm) Pool 3: Oundle Town v Northampton Saints.
Division One (1pm): Grantham v Peterborough Town, King’s Keys v Oundle, Weldon v Ketton Sports, Wisbech v Barnack.