Cuckney Cricket Club look to seal Nottinghamshire Premier League crown for the first time

Keiron Garside collects another wicket for Cuckney,who edge one step closer to the T20 National final -Pic by:Richard Parkes
Keiron Garside collects another wicket for Cuckney,who edge one step closer to the T20 National final -Pic by:Richard Parkes

Saturday sees the penultimate round of matches in the Nottinghamshire Premier League season and it could be the day that Cuckney take their second title of the season having already secured the county T20 title.

This weekend they travel to Lady Bay to take on the Nottinghamshire Academy and a win or winning draw will see them clinch the league title for the first time.

A similar result for the county side would stretch the race for the title to the final round of matches next week.

The previous contest between this two this season was rained off but in their most recent league encounter last year, the Academy secured a winning draw with both Tom Rowe (71) and Hassan Azad (55) in the runs.

But the Cuckney bowling attack is the strongest in the league and will severely test the youngsters; Luke Wood (37 wickets) and Richard Stroh (34) occupy the top two spots in the league bowling stats and spinner Ian Parkin (28) is not far behind.

At the other end of the table, Wollaton welcome Caythorpe hoping to secure a third win of the season to help them stave off promotion.

The home side has put in some decent performances this season but been a shadow of their former teams having lost ten and drawn three of their sixteen games.

Ian Dodd and Sam Johnson have both been in good form in recent weeks and along with skipper Tim Young will form the backbone of their batting unit.

Caythorpe had a run of six wins and two draws since losing to the Cavaliers at the beginning of June and their consistency has surely been aided by the fact that skipper Andy Hunt has used only 12 players in the league this year and they will want to maintain their third place in the table.

The other side that could face the drop if Wollaton rally in their final two games is Papplewick and this weekend they travel to Mansfield Hosiery Mills looking for their third win of the season and their first since early June when they overcame Worksop.

Papplewick skipper Matt Dowman has led from the front this term with 523 league runs including a hundred in the loss at Caythorpe at the beginning of the month and Dane Straw and Jim Rhodes have both passed the 20 wicket mark.

The Millers have had a strong season but will want to bounce back from their seven-wicket defeat at Plumtree last weekend when Sudesh Fernando did his best to stave off defeat with an innings of 53.

Dan Birch has hit some awesome batting form in the last few weeks with innings of 180 against Wollaton and 152 against Worksop and he will want to continue that this weekend as he travels with his Kimberley side to former club Clifton.

These two sides did make a start in their previous encounter in June before the rain curtailed proceedings; Clifton were limited to 192 for 9 in an innings reduced to 35 overs with Chris Glover grabbing 3-40.

The home side this weekend has found it difficult to follow their three successive league titles and they are fighting to finish in the top half of the table.

Tom Lungley has had an outstanding season with the bat with five half centuries in his tally of 474 league runs.

Worksop lost their fight for survival in the top flight last weekend and are now playing only for pride as they welcome the other club promoted last season, Plumtree, to Central Avenue.

The home side will no doubt have half an eye on next season to try and avoid the double relegation that frequently follows demotion and a number of their side will take some satisfaction from some strong personal performances; Gareth Pursehouse has exceeded 300 runs and Wayne Spooner has taken 21 wickets.

Visitors Plumtree have put in some strong performances in their return to the Premier League including taking 36 points from their two games against leaders Cuckney; Matt Wood has posting some very consistent scores recently and now has 458 league runs and this weekend they also welcome back young seamer Matt Milnes to their attack.

The final game sees the West Indian Cavaliers travel to Sookholme to take on Welbeck with the Cavs pushing for a top three finish which would be a significant achievement considering the number of games that they have lost to the weather. They have won three of their last four completed games including a win over traditional rivals Clifton two weekends ago when veteran Orson Nurse posted the remarkable figures of 5-22 in less than 8 overs.

Welbeck need just one point from two games to be mathematically sure of Premier League cricket in 2013; Jonathan Ball has had another good season with 242 runs to go along with his 27 wickets at less than 24 each.