Title-chasing Cuckney Cricket Club return to Notts Premier League action

Welbeck v Cuckney on Sunday'Cuckney's Connor Garnett
Welbeck v Cuckney on Sunday'Cuckney's Connor Garnett

Cuckney are competing for three major trophies this year having progressed to the national stages of the ECB club T20 competition and overcome Lancashire side Chorley last Sunday to reach the quarterfinals of the ECB National Club Championship.

This Saturday, the league leaders return to Premier League action and have a tough game away against third-placed Kimberley.

The match between these two in round five earlier this year resulted in a 67 run victory for the north Nottinghamshire side; Nick Langford, a former Kimberley player, starred in that game with 72 and he remains in excellent form.

Matt Wright is the form-bowler for the home side having taken 24 wickets at just over 20 runs each including a match-winning 7-28 in the 6 wicket win against the West Indian Cavaliers.

The Cavs will just be hoping to get a game of cricket in sometime soon as they have now had nine out of fifteen games cancelled or abandoned due to the weather.

This has left any hopes of winning the championship for the first time since 2008 in tatters and they are currently 60 points off the top spot.

This weekend they welcome Papplewick to Birchover Park for a tie-up that in recent years has been one of the most anticipated in the League but the visitors are struggling for form. With just two wins from 10 games, they are 31 points off the relegation spot after last week’s losing draw at home to Plumtree.

Matt Dowman and Warren Nel are doing their best to hold the batting unit together but the bowling looks to be less competitive than in recent years. The Cavaliers have lost their last four games to the weather and will want to erase the memory of their most recent match when they lost by six wickets to Kimberley.

Reigning champions Clifton host another struggling side Wollaton; the home side will be looking to bounce back from a losing draw last weekend to the Academy at Lady Bay.

Clifton’s batting unit has lost that aura of invincibility that it had in winning three consecutive titles although Martin Weightman has 372 runs including one hundred and two fifties. Tom Lungley is not far behind with 323 runs at more than 40.

Wollaton were defeated by Worksop last weekend and need to start winning if they are to avoid dropping out of the league for the first time since its formation. They will also be keen to do better than the 100 run defeat that Clifton handed them in the first tie-up between these sides earlier in the year; Alex King did his best to resist that loss with four wickets and 26 not out.

Second placed Nottinghamshire Academy travel north to Sookholme to take on Welbeck, another side flirting with the drop. The Colliers lost last weekend to leaders Cuckney but before that had been on a five match unbeaten run.

Jonathan Ball has been a regular wicket-taker including a return of 4-58 in the loss away at Mansfield and skipper Martyn Dobson is averaging more than 60 with the bat, lying second in the league stats with 482 runs.

The Academy will be trying for the season double over Welbeck to follow up their comprehensive eight wicket win earlier in the season; that victory was built around 4-24 from Scott Elstone and an unbeaten 53 from Hassan Azad.

Caythorpe are in third position after three wins and a draw in their last four completed games and this weekend they travel to Plumtree.

The home side had the better of a draw last week at Papplewick and their bowling attack is performing well with Matt Milnes and Muhammad Usman taking eight wickets between last weekend.

They will also be conscious of the win they had over Caythorpe earlier this year when they recovered from 24-5 to secure a three wicket win.

The home side have benefited from the batting form of former Nottinghamshire opener Darren Bicknell (321 runs at 45) and veteran seamer Tim Haines (18 wickets at less than 13) but have a well-balanced side with youngsters like Usman Muzaffar performing well with bat and ball.

The final game of the day sees Worksop host Mansfield Hosiery Mills with the home side looking to build on last week’s first win of the season at Wollaton.

Whilst they have been rooted to the foot of the table for most of the season, a string of positive performances could see them to safety.

The win last weekend was built around a six wicket haul for Wayne Spooner to take his season tally to 14.

The visitors also beat Wollaton in their last game two weeks ago and that broke a run of three negative results but in Tom New, they have the league’s leading batsmen; he has amassed 603 runs including two centuries including 117 not out in the previous match this season against Worksop.