Title showdown weekend in the Notts Premier Cricket League

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The 2011 Nottinghamshire Premier Cricket League season comes to an end this weekend and the destination of the 2011 championship title lies within grasp for both Clifton and West Indian Cavaliers.

Clifton are strong favourites as they only need six points to secure their third successive title.

They welcome Wollaton to the Clifton Oval hoping to do the double over the visitors, having beaten them with some ease in their previous encounter earlier this year.

James Taylor was the star that day, his unbeaten 79 seeing the league-leaders home.

Wollaton have had a much better second half of the season and are guaranteed at least ninth spot in the final table.

This founder club may have higher expectations but this is a creditable result having had to rebuild their side extensively over the last couple of years.

Cavaliers are the only side who can pip Clifton and they too have a home fixture, welcoming Cuckney to Birchover Park.

The visitors will be looking for their second major scalp in two weeks after they upset the form book last Saturday with their three wicket win against Clifton with Tom Ullyott and Ian Parkin grabbing the headlines.

Ullyott has had a good season and sits seventh in the league batting stats with six 50s in his 661 runs.

But the Cavs have the leagues leading bowler, Saqlain Mushtaq having grabbed an astonishing 61 league wickets at just over 10 each.

This is third highest wicket haul in Premier League history after Jim Rhodes took 69 in 2003 and Eddie Hemmings 76 in 2001.

Cavs have also leant heavily on the batting of skipper Usman Afzaal 911 runs leaves him second in the league batting list.

The top scorer this term has been Belvoir veteran Darren Bicknell with 968 runs, despite missing the first three games of the season.

This marathon effort has not however prevented Belvoir slipping out of the league for 2012 and this weekend they sign off their campaign at Knipton against Mansfield Hosiery Mills.

Belvoir will be hoping to avoid suffering the same fate as Attenborough who were relegated from the Premier League last season and have suffered a second success relegation.

The previous match between these two sides this term saw the Millers get the better of a draw thanks mainly to an astounding 141 from Gareth Curtis at more than a run a ball, one of the four Premier League tons he has recorded in 2011.

The Nottinghamshire Academy are guaranteed third spot and travel to Sookholme to take on Welbeck Colliery who are looking for a good result to remain in fourth.

The Academy side have had an excellent season recording 10 wins in their 21 games to date and have seen the emergence of several players who have flourished in the top tier of the recreational game.

Tom Rowe has had an outstanding season; his 852 runs at an average of more than 60 is an excellent debut season performance and he currently lies in fourth position in the league batting stats.

Welbeck started the season with a seven-match winning streak, a run that was ended by a thumping defeat to the Cavaliers in June. Their star performers have been Martin Dobson with 694 runs and Luke Waterhouse and Jonathan Ball with 45 and 39 wickets respectively. They will want to end the season strongly after a weak July and August and build on the momentum of their win last week against Mansfield.

Two sides eyeing up Welbeck’s fourth spot meet when Kimberley take on Welbeck at the Private Ground.

It has been an up and down season for Sam Ogrizovic’s team; they have recorded nine wins so far including victories against the Cavaliers at home and Caythorpe away.

But a five match losing streak during July and August put a hole in their season but fourth would be a strong performance. Caythorpe too have struggled to find consistency this term and they are currently equal on points with the home side despite two fewer wins.

The James’, Hawley and Hindson, have been their stand-out performers with 627 runs and 45 wickets respectively.

The final match sees Kiveton travel to Papplewick for what will be their last match in the Premier League, at least for a while.

They have found the step-up in standard a challenge but will have some cricketers who have found success and will return to the Bassetlaw better for the experience.

Skipper Lee Brooks has led the side from the front with 29 wickets and Matthew Cartwright has supported well with 600 runs but there have not been enough solid performances from the remainder of the side.

Home team Papplewick spent much of the season flirting with the relegation zone but will now be looking to continue the rebuilding process for 2012.

The recent win against Cuckney showed that, despite a poor season, they can still compete and that win was built around an unbeaten ton for Alex Lloyd.