Revenge will be on the minds of the Peterborough Town players when they host Wollaston in their opening Northants Premier Division fixture at Bretton Gate tomorrow (April 22, noon).
Town hit a few bumps on the road to a second-placed finish last season and none were bigger than the one suffered at Wollaston. The home side won that day by 118 runs.
“That’s one of the worst defeats in my time at the club,” Town skipper David Clarke stated. “We were in a bad place when we played them last season. We performed horribly and we deserved to get beaten.
“We only just beat them at home on the opening day of last season so we know what will happen if we are complacent.
“We want to avenge the last meeting and I’m confident we will.
“We’ve had an outstanding pre-season, playing against two top quality sides on two superb cricket grounds.
“The main batsmen have scored runs and the bowlers have hit their straps so I’m expecting a good start and a good season.”
Clarke is expecting big things from Joe Dawborn who relied on his fierce determination, will-to-win and desire rather than a smooth bowling action to top the Premier Division wicket-taking charts for the second season in a row in 2016.
“Joe’s been in Dubai receiving some top coaching in the winter,” Clarke revealed. “His run-up looks far better and he appears to be in top form.”
Professional all-rounder Paul McMahon plays for Town on Saturday, but he’s still managing a knee weakened by injury so he will not play for Cambs in their opening Unicorns Trophy match against Northumberland at Saffron Walden on Sunday.
Clubmate Lewis Bruce will skipper Cambs in McMahon’s absence. Town’s Asim Butt and Dawborn, James Williams of Wisbech and Zeeshan Manzoor of Ketton are also in a 13-man squad along with former Town player Rob Sayer whose availability depends on his Leicestershire commitments.
An improved-looking Oundle side travel to Brixworth for their opening game.
The Rutland League starts on Sunday (April 23) when Town host last season’s runners-up Bourne. Reigning champions Nassington are at Oundle.
Saturday, April 22
(Noon): Premier Division - Brixworth v Oundle, Peterborough Town v Wollaston.
(1pm) Division Two - St Crispin & Ryelands v Peterborough Town 2nds.
(1pm) Division Three - Oundle 2nds v Brixworth 2nds.
Lincs Premier Division
(Noon): Bracebridge Heath v Bourne, Market Deeping v Woodhall Spa, Spalding v Grimsby.
(12.30pm): Division One - March v Histon, Nassington v Ketton, Wisbech v Ramsey.
Division Two - Burwell 2nds v Castor, Ufford Park v Blunham.
South Lincs League
(1pm): Premier Division - Bourne 2nds v Sleaford 2nds, Freiston v Spalding 2nds, Stamford v Grantham 2nds, Woodhall Spa 2nds v Market Deeping 2nds
Division One - Belton Park v Moulton Harrox, Billingborough 2nds v Long Sutton, Skegness 2nds v Baston, Welby Cavaliers v Claypole.
Sunday, April 23
Unicorns KO Trophy
(11am): Cambridgeshire v Northumberland (at Saffron Walden).-
(12.30pm) Division One: Ketton v Barnack, Oundle v Nassington, Peterborough Town v Bourne, Stamford v Grantham, Wisbech v Market Deeping.
Division Two: King’s Keys v Uppingham, March v Ufford Park, Weldon v Newborough, Whittlesey v Burghley Park.
Division Three (East): Long Sutton v Alconbury, Nassington 2nds v Market Overton.
Division Three (West): Loddington v Easton-on-the-Hill.
Division Four (East): Market Deeping 2nds v Spalding, Moulton Harrox v Whittlesey 2nds, Ufford Park 2nds v Newborough 2nds.
South Lincs League
(1pm) Division Two: Frieston v Long Sutton 2nds.