PREVIEW: Tougher times ahead for Peterborough Town, big day for Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire in action at Bourne CC, quarter-finals day in the John Wilcox Trophy
Things are about to get a lot tougher for Peterborough Town.
The city side are sitting pretty in second place in the Northants Premier Division, but their four wins have been at the expense of four teams in the bottom half of the table.
They will get a sterner examination of their progress in a hectic fortnight when they tackle fourth-placed Northampton Saints away from home tomorrow (June 16) and third-placed Finedon (June 23, home) in the league as well as contesting two big knockout events.
Town are at Finedon for two Northants T20 Championship games against the host club and Wollaston this Sunday (June 17) and then entertain High Wycombe in an area final of the National Club Championships on June 24.
“It’s a great run of fixtures,” Town skipper David Clarke insisted. “We’ve played well in a few one-sided games this season, but we can expect some tough cricket in the next fortnight, but these matches are why we play the game and I’m confident we will enjoy a good couple of weeks.”
Saints are showing much improved form this season. They have a couple of Northants staff members in their squad most notably aggressive batsman Saif Zaib, although he was in the Northants first XI last weekend.
Town have yet to make an appearance in the Northants T20 Championship. They tackle Wollaston at 11am when a victory would set up a winner-takes-all contest against Finedon with a place at finals day the prize.
Oundle have missed out on qualification on net run rate, but they could still get through as the best runner-up. They were forced to play with 10 men in their final two matches as South African Liam Fresen was deemed ineligible to play after travelling to the venue as part of an 11-man squad.
Town are unchanged for the third successive Saturday.
Sunday is a big day for Cambridgeshire as well. They currently top their group in the Minor Counties T20 Championship with two matches against Bedfordshire to go.
Those two matches take place at March Town this weekend. No Town players are involved, but Wisbech all-rounder James Williams will skipper a side that includes his clubmates, opening bowler Sam Rippington and wicket-keeper Josh Bowers.
Lincolnshire, who can’t qualify, take on Cheshire at Bourne. Carl Wilson and Sam Evison from the home club are involved.
The quarter-finals of the Rutland League’s John Wilcox Trophy are scheduled for Sunday with the all top-flight clash between Grantham and King’s Keys the pick of the ties.
Werrington and Barton Seagrave will be hunting big scalps in the shape of Barnack and Oundle respectively. Isham have conceded their tie to holders Wisbech.
SATURDAY, JUNE 16
Premier Division (noon): Saints v Peterborough Town, Oundle v Brigstock.
LINCS PREMIER DIVISION
(noon): Boston v Bourne, Market Deeping v Grantham.
Division One (12.30pm): March v Wisbech, Ramsey v Sawston & Babraham.
Division Two (12.30pm): Castor v Great Shelford, Granta 2nds v Stamford Town, Southill Park v Ufford Park.
SUNDAY, JUNE 17
MINOR COUNTIES T20 CUP
Group stages (from 11am): Cambs v Bedfordshire (two games), Lincs v Cheshire (at Bourne).
NORTHANTS T20 CHAMPS
Group stages (from 11am at Finedon): Wollaston v Peterborough Town, Finedon v Peterborough Town.
John Wilcox Trophy (quarter-finals, noon): Grantham v King’s Keys, Oundle v Barton Seagrave, Werrington v Barnack.