Last season’s championship might have had a very different view had the West Indian Cavaliers not lost so many matches to weather and they have started in fine form this year.
They share top spot with two wins from two games and this weekend they travel to Sookholme to take on a Welbeck side looking to secure their first positive result of the season.
That task may be all the harder if skipper Martin Dobson fails to recover from the shoulder dislocation he suffered in the loss last week at Plumtree.
With Jake Ball likely to be playing for Nottinghamshire in their YB40 game at Worcester on Sunday, the responsibility for leading the attack is likely to fall to Olly Pringle and Jonathan Ball. The Cavs have eased into the season with wins against Farnsfield away and at home over Papplewick with Akhil Patel and Shaun Levy hitting form with the bat and Usman Afzaal and Jason Elliott leading the wicket-takers.
Papplewick have not enjoyed the greatest start to the season and have gathered only six points from their opening two fixtures.
They will hope that new skipper Lou Vincent, who arrives this week, will lift the spirits and their performance as they welcome Caythorpe this weekend.
They will also want to go one better than the corresponding fixture last year when they failed by just two runs to record a rare victory in a disappointing season.
With two straight defeats to start this term, they need to start recording some positive results if they are to avoid a third season of battling to avoid relegation.
Their opponents, Caythorpe, have been stung by their loss last weekend to new boys Farnsfield and will welcome back the ever-reliable Tim Haynes to their attack. Josh Mierkalns struck a composed century last weekend but will need support from the batting unit which Mierkalns apart did not fire last week.
Plumtree have had an equally good start to the season, bagging two wins from two but they will face their sternest test so far when they travel to Lady Bay to take on the Nottinghamshire Academy. The home side had their hopes of an opening day win dashed by the weather at Welbeck and last week drew with Mansfield Hosiery Mills, who hung on eight wickets down.
Tom Rowe has started the season in prime form with 145 runs from two innings. and Luke Wood has settled in very well with nine wickets at just over eight runs each.
Plumtree leg-spinner Wasim Rana took a season’s best of 7-33 in the losing draw at Lady Bay in 2012 and he is also in form with the bat this year; Sam Storey and Joe Tetley have also hit the ground running in a strong batting line up.
Farnsfield’s win against Caythorpe last weekend has confirmed their ability to compete in the top flight, but they will be strongly challenged this weekend when they take on the brute force that is Rolls Royce Leisure at Station Lane.
The visitors eased passed Clifton in the opening round, but failed to bowl out Kimberley after posting the highest first innings total of the season to date.
Ben Phillips’ remarkable innings of 107 from just 48 balls powered them to 327-5, but they could not take more than seven Kimberley wickets.
Farnsfield’s win over Caythorpe was founded on a solid all-round performance from skipper Paul Franks who took three wickets and scored 43.
Graeme White has also provided substance with bat and ball and Michael Bell has looked in good form at the top of the order.
Kimberley have had a tough start with losing draw at Cuckney and a home defeat to Rolls, but they have showed their fighting spirit in both games.
That a side led by Sam Ogrizovic has spirit should be no surprise to seasoned watchers of the Premier League, and he will be looking to get his side back on track as they welcome Mansfield Hosiery Mills to the Private Ground.
The batting star so far has been Paldip Sidhu who scored an impressive 112 against Rolls Royce; but the bowling attack must of greater concern as they have taken only 10 wickets in two games. They have 12 points thus far, the same as their opponents and the Millers and former Kimberley bowler Matt Wright has settled in well, taking 5-74 in the losing draw last weekend against the Academy.
The final game pitches the current champions against their predecessors as Clifton welcome Cuckney.
The visitors have dropped just three points this season and lie in third place and they have put in two strong performances beating Mansfield Hosiery Mills and the clock in their opening game and scoring 306 in 49 overs against Kimberley.
Richard Stroh is the key man with the bat, having already scored 214 league runs, but the bowling attack looks like it needs more overs to hit peak form.
Clifton are by their own admission in a period of regeneration after three successive championships in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
They will take heart from the fact that their visitors have only won once in five seasons at the Clifton Oval, but they will have to find another gear with bat and ball if they are to prevent a second loss.