Cuckney strike crucial early blow in title race after win over rivals Kimberley Institute

Leaders Cuckney struck a huge early blow in the Nottinghamshire Premier League title race on Saturday when they beat major rivals Kimberley Institute by six wickets.

“Getting one over on Kimberley early doors, especially when they are out of form, puts a real big gap between us and just sets one of the chasing pack back a little bit, “ smiled assistant captain Richard Bostock.

“It stamps our authority on the table early in the league.”

Choosing to bat, Kimberley reached 246-6 with Dom Brown top-scoring with 79 not out. Jack Nightingale hit 65 and Sam Wood 30.

Cuckney's Ewan Laughton on his way to 60 against Kimberley.

In reply Cuckney reached 250-4 in 46.2 overs.

Nick Keast (27) and Ewan Laughton (60) put on 66 for the opening wicket to give a solid start and Nick Langford (61 not out) and Joseph Hayes (53) made 80 between them for the fourth wicket.

“Kimberley won the toss and batted first. We thought they would do that as they have twice chased and lost, so we knew they would be a little bit low on confidence,” said Bostock.

“We were always going to stick them in and knock off if we'd won the toss anyway as it's the best way to get the full eight points.”

“It was a new wicket and pretty flat so we knew what it was going to be about. We knew around 350 on that wicket was only around par.

“And needing 70-80 in the last 10 at home is always do-able for us as we know how our ground scores and the areas to score in. So once got to the past 10 well within reach of it and with wickets in hand we knew we were in the driving seat.”

He added: “Ewan Laughton is really coming into his own. He has had a couple of partnerships in recent weeks that have been really crucial to helping the batting.

“It's good to see Nick Keast back after injury – he always gets us off to a flyer. He sets up the chase nicely for us.

"And it's good to have Nick Langford in a bit of form again as, when he's firing, we know we can come close to winning most games.

“We have a few batters in form and hopefully we can keep that going through the season.”

Cuckney lead the Nottingahmshire Premier League table on 40 points from Papplewick & Linby on 34 with Cavaliers & Carrington third on 32.