Peterborough Town skipper David Clarke has challenged his side to win their remaining nine Northants Premier Division matches.
Even that might not be enough to catch long-time leaders Old Northamptonians who are 44 points clear of fourth-placed Town, but Clarke believes his side need incentives to get them through the rest of a frustrating campaign.
Town did emerge from a damaging spell in the doldrums to thrash Stony Stratford by 129 runs at Bretton Gate last weekend (July 16).
And tomorrow (July 23) they need to build on that big win by beating neighbours Oundle at Milton Road.
Clarke said: “It was a big improvement against Stony, but we need to keep that form up for the rest of the season.
“We intend to enjoy our cricket from now to the end. We will try and win every game and see where it takes us.
“We can’t affect anyone else’s results so we will just worry about what we are doing.
“Oundle is a big game for us. They always raise their game to play us and they have come close to beating us a couple of times.
“The game against them earlier in the season was a bit rowdy, but hopefully both teams will concentrate on cricket this time.”
Town and Oundle drew their Premier Division match at Bretton Gate in May.
Town players Lewis Bruce and Chris Milner were forced to fight off disciplinary charges in the aftermath of a fiesty, sledge-filled encounter.
Town have batsmen Alex Mitchell and Marcus Howard available again, but free-scoring Tim Young, who scored 67 against Oundle in the May meeting, has left the club after finding the travelling from his London base, too much of a chore. Fast bowler David Sayer will be absent at Oundle so slow bowler Richard Kendall steps up from the seconds.
Town also travel to Oundle for a semi-final tie in the Rutland League’s John Wilcox Trophy on Sunday (1pm).
Barnack travel to Grantham in the other semi-final.
Surprise Lincs Premier Division leaders Market Deeping host Skegness at Outgang Road tomorrow (noon), while Bourne could do their neighbours a favour by getting a result at second-placed Bracebridge Heath.
Deeping skipper Dave Gillett said: “We are a team without superstars. But we are a team and we are playing well.
“We won’t be making any bold predictions or statements. We will just carry on as we are and see where it takes us.”
Ramsey, second in the highly-competitive Cambs Division One, are at Histon tomorrow.
March, second in Cambs Division Two, host Ufford Park (12.30pm).
Saturday, July 23
(noon) Premier Division: Oundle v Peterborough Town.
(1pm) Division One: Peterborough Town 2nds v Overstone.
(1pm) Division Three: Great Houghton v Oundle 2nds.
(1pm) Division Eight: Oundle 3rds v St Michaels.
LINCS PREMIER DIVISION
(noon): Bracebridge Heath v Bourne, Market Deeping v Skegness.
(12.30pm) Division One: Burwell 2nds v Ketton, Histon v Ramsey, Wisbech v Nassington.
(12.30pm) Division Two: March v Ufford Park, Newborough v Granta 2nds.
SOUTH LINCS LEAGUE
(1.30pm) Premier Division: Bourne 2nds v Grantham 2nds, Spalding v Long Sutton, Stamford v Market Deeping 2nds.
(1.30pm) Division One: Heckington v Spalding 2nds, Moulton Harrox v Grantham 3rds, Welby Cavaliers v Timberlands.
(1.30pm) Division Two: Belton Park v Spalding 3rds.
(1pm) Division One: Eaton Socon 2nds v Castor, Hampton v Ickwell, Ramsey 2nds v Godmanchester 2nds, Southill Park v Burghley Park, Waresley 2nds v Stamford.
(1pm) Division Two: Barnack v Bharat Sports, Blunham 2nds v AK 11, Nassington 2nds v Buckden.
(1pm) Division Three: Alconbury v Hampton 2nds, Biggleswade v Ramsey 3rds, Sawtry v Huntingdon 2nds, Upwood v Newborough 2nds, Werrington v Houghton & Wyton.
(1pm) Division Four: Blunham 3rds v Castor 2nds, Burghley Park 2nds v Orton Park 2nds, Ketton 2nds v Warboys 3rds, King’s Keys v Bretton.
Sunday, July 24
(1pm): John Wilcox Cup semi-finals: Oundle v Peterborough Town, Grantham v Barnack.
(1pm): John Wilcox Plate: King’s Keys v Ufford Park.
(1.30pm)Division Two: Medbourne v Whittlesey, Newborough v March, Uffington v Oakham.
(1.30pm) Division Three: Bretton v East Carlton, Wisbech 2nds v Werrington.
(1.30pm) Division Four: Bourne 2nds v Ramsey, Loddington v Easton-on-the-Hill, Nassington 2nds v Isham.
(1.30pm) Division Five: Castor 2nds v Uppingham, Laxton v Benefield, Market Overton v Sawtry, Peterborough Town 2nds v Alconbury, Weldon 2nds v Market Deeping 2nds.
(1.30pm) Division Six: Hampton 2nds v Spalding, Huntingdon v Uffington 2nds, Ufford Park 2nds v Moulton Harrox 2nds, Whittlesey 2nds v Orton Park 2nds.
(1pm) Division Five: Sheikh 11 v Little Paxton.