PREVIEW: Title battle and an attempt to win a place in the last-16 of a national cup makes it a huge weekend for Peterborough Town
Peterborough Town are gunning for a place in the last 16 of the National Club KO competition on Sunday (June 24).
The city side have knocked out two Home Counties Division sides already in Banbury and Henley and now they face a third in High Wycombe at Bretton Gate (1pm).
And revenge will be on Town’s mind as they lost at the last-32 stage to the same opponents last season.
“We let them get out of jail at their place last season,” Town skipper David Clarke stated. “They were 130-9 and then added 100 for the final wicket. They are a strong side, but we fancy our chances especially at the Gate.”
Town expect to field a strong side as former Cambs skipper Lewis Bruce has confirmed his availability for the 40-over game and star batsman Asim Butt should also make a rare Sunday appearance for the club.
Opening bowler Jamie Smith may miss out though. He’s due to become a father for the first time.
Town have an important Northants Premier Division match tomorrow (June 23) as title rivals Finedon visit Bretton Gate (noon).
Town are still unbeaten in second place after a fine win at Northampton Saints last weekend. Finedon are third and Clarke admits last weekend’s Northants T20 Championship win over their rivals won’t mean a lot this weekend.
“It’s a different game between different sets of players,” Clarke added. “It’s always a tough match against Finedon and they look set to challenge for the title this season so it’s a big match for both teams.
“We played very well against Saints and Finedon last weekend. Everyone is contributing and that needs to be the case again this weekend.
“Keeping in touch at the top until we can get Lewis Bruce and Rob Sayer playing regularly is still the aim.
“All the players are contributing, but I really believe David Sayer will be a key man for us this summer.
“He worked over Saif Zaib, one of the best batsmen in the league last weekend, before getting him out. He hit him on the head with a bumper and then got him out next ball.
“David has had his problems this season, but he’s worked very hard and the rewards are starting to arrive.”
Bruce is also expected to play tomorrow in place of unavailable teenager Danny Malik.
Both Town and Finedon will have half an eye on Milton Road tomorrow as Premier Division leaders Old Northamptonians are in action at Oundle Town.
The big-hitters of Bourne could have a field day in their Lincs Premier Division game with struggling Alford at the Abbey Lawns tomorrow (noon) when Market Deeping will attempt to stay clear of the drop zone by beating Sleaford at Outgang Road.
There’s a Cambs Division Two derby at Port Lane tomorrow when Castor host Ufford Park (12.30pm).
Cambs open their Minor Counties Championship campaign against Cumberland at Wisbech for three days from Sunday (11am).
SATURDAY, JUNE 23
Premier Division (noon): Oundle v ONs, Peterborough Town v Finedon.
LINCS PREMIER DIVISION
(Noon): Bourne v Alford, Market Deeping v Sleaford.
Division One (12.30pm): Foxton v Ramsey, March v Sawston & Babraham, Waresley v Wisbech.
Division Two (12.30pm): Castor v Ufford Park, Stamford Town v Huntingdon.
SUNDAY, JUNE 24
Eastern Division (11am, three days): Cambs v Cumberland (at Wisbech Town), Lincs v Norfolk (at Sleaford).
NATIONAL CLUB KO CUP
Area final (1pm): Peterborough Town v High Wycombe.
Division One (1pm): Barnack v Peterborough Town, Bourne v Grantham, Oundle v Ketton Sports.