PREVIEW: Crucial league game and Northants T20 Finals Day for Peterborough Town
The most exciting Northants Premier Division title race for years is still too tight to call.
But Peterborough Town are hanging in there despite making hard work of recent matches.
Their 46-run win over Brixworth last Saturday (august 12) was their first in four matches and wasn’t completed until the penultimate over of the match.
But it was enough to keep them in second place, seven points behind leaders Rushton who secured a remarkable victory over Rushden last weekend when chasing a target in excess of 300.
Reigning champions Old Northamptonians are a point further back after making a real statement of intent by smashing fourth-placed Finedon by eight wickets last weekend.
Finedon are probably too far back now which is good news for Town who still have to visit the prettiest ground in the competition.
The key matches for the rest of this summer are Rushton’s trip to Bretton Gate on August 26 and Rushton’s home game with Old Northamptonians on the final day of the campaign (September 10).
“We’re battling away and keeping in touch,” Town skipper David Clarke said.
“We know we can play much better and we will have to, but we know at our best we can beat anyone.”
Town’s problem tomorrow (August 19) will be despatching Rushden’s high-class professional Canaka Ruwansiri at Short Stocks.
Ruwansiri delivered a masterclass when Town were beaten by Rushden at home earlier this season.
Getting him out won’t be easy especially as Paul McMahon is absent. Top-class all-rounder Lewis Bruce does return to the Town side.
Rushton: v Stony Stratford (h), Peterborough (a), Oundle (h), Geddington (a), Old Northamptonians (h).
Peterborough: v Rushden (a), Rushton (h), Northampton Saints (h), Finedon (a), Geddington (h).
Old Northamptonians: v Geddington (h), Wollaston (a), Stony Stratford (h), Oundle (a), Rushton (a).
Finedon: v Horton House (a), Brixworth (h), Rushden (a), Peterborough (h), Northampton Saints (a).
Town travel to Rushton on Sunday to compete in the re-staged Northants Twenty/20 Finals Day, an event controversially abandoned at the County Ground last month.
Town play the host club in the first semi-final (10.30am) and possibly a final against Old Northamptonians or Finedon (4.30pm).
The city side might not be at full strength though. McMahon can only play in the final if required, while there is also a doubt about star batsman Asim Butt’s availability,