Captain crocked as Peterborough Town take on Oundle in a Northants Premier Division game
Peterborough Town will be without two key men in tomorrow’s Northants Premier Division derby at Oundle Town (May 4, noon).
Captain David Clarke and star all-rounder Lewis Bruce are the absentees from the eagerly-awaited clash at Milton Road. Clarke has a persistent knee problem which could keep him out for some time depending on the results of a scan.
Oundle, who have started the season in good form are also understrength with pro batsman Ben Smith and the talented Foster brothers unavailable.
Oundle have won all three of their competitive first-team matches, including one over Town in a Rutland Division One match, but they’ve never bedaten their neighbours in a Northants League game.
Opener Jonathan Dalley stroked 75 not out as Oundle opened their Northants Premier Division season with a handsome eight-wicket win at Northampton Saints last weekend when Town were drawing at home to Rushden.
Town then suffered a shock reverse at home to Cambs Division One side Sawston & Babraham in the first round of the Royal London Club Championships.
“I’m disappointed with losing in the cup, but not overly-concerned,” Clarke said. “Sawston could compete in an ECB Premier League with the standard of their team.
“We played well against Rushden, but the wicket is flat at Bretton Gate so it was always going to be difficult to bowl them out. We dropped a couple of catches early on which cost us. We won’t be able to get away with that at our place this season.
“We didn’t bat well at the start of both games though which is a worry.
“Nick Paskins got us out of trouble against Rushden with a ridiculously good innings.
“He scored quickly, but did so by playing properly and putting the bad balls away.
“It’s obviously disappointing myself and Lewis can’t play at Oundle, but we will still have strength in depth.
“We will need our top players like Rob Sayer and Josh Smith to perform.
“The difference between us and Sawston last weekend was their best players all chipped in, while ours didn’t have such a good day.
“We have never lost to Oundle in the Premier Division, but we never take them lightly. It’s always a game we look forward to and we’ve had some good battles in the past.
“They have good players and they started the season well last weekend, although I’m not sure how strong Saints are this season.”
Opening bowler Jamie Smith will skipper Town tomorrow with quick-bowling all-rounder David Sayer stepping in for Clarke. A back problem will probably stop him bowling.
All-rounder Vansh Bajaj remains unavailable because of university exams.
The Cambs League starts in earnest tomorrow including the new Division Three which involves local teams Bharat Sports, AK 11, Newborough and Wisbech seconds.
City sides Bharat and AK start with away games at Eaton Socon seconds and Southill Park respectively.
Cambs are in Minor Counties T20 Cup action at Peterborough Town’s Bretton Gate base on Sunday (May 5) with two matches against Hertfordshire (11am & 2.30pm).
Oundle brothers Conor and Harrison Craig, Peterborough Town’s Rob Sayer and Wisbech pair James Williams and James Bowers are all involved.
Cambs: Ballard, Hussain, Seabrook, Park, Guest, Williams, Sayer, Bowers, Hill, C. Craig, Rippington, H. Craig.
Bourne and Market Deeping contest the opening round of the Winkworth Cup - Lincolnshire’s T20 competition - on Monday. Bourne host Boston and Sleaford, while Market Deeping are at Woodhall Spa along with Grantham.
Bourne are at home to Scunthorpe in a Lincs Premier Division game tomorrow (noon) when Deeping travel to Boston.
Saturday May 4
(Noon) Premier Division: Oundle Town v Peterborough Town.
LINCS PREMIER DIVISION
(noon): Boston v Market Deeping, Bourne v Scunthorpe.
(12.30pm): Division One: Cambridge v Ramsey, Foxton v Wisbech, Histon v Godmanchester, March v Eaton Socon.
Division Two: St Ives v Castor, Stamford v St Giles, Ufford Park v Saffron Walden 2nds.
(1pm) Division Three: Eaton Socon 2nds v Bharat Sports, Southill Park v AK 11, Wisbech 2nds v Foxton 2nds.
Sunday, May 5
(11am & 2.30pm) Group 3: Cambridgeshire v Hertfordshire (at Peterborough Town CC).
(1pm) Division One: Castor v Grantham, King’s Keys v March, Oundle v Barnack, Wisbech v Market Deeping.
Monday, May 6
(from 10.30am): Bourne v Boston v Sleaford (Abbey Lawns); Woodhall Spa v Grantham v Market Deeping (at Woodhall).