SO FAR so good is the early-season verdict on the new regime at Papplewick and Linby after they got off the mark for the new Notts Premier League (NPL) season.
Papplewick brushed aside newly-promoted Plumtree with the minimum of fuss last Saturday to take an early-season position of third in the NPL table.
The result followed a promising performance against Kimberley in their other league match that beat the rain, plus a fine victory in the Kingfisher Beer ECB National Club Championship.
So new skipper Matthew Dowman has every reason to feel satisfied going into a big match at home to former champions West Indian Cavaliers tomorrow (Saturday).
Plumtree, who were last season’s Gunn And Moore South Notts League champions, pipping Rolls-Royce Leisure and Hucknall to the title, were asked to bat first by ex-Notts CCC batsman Dowman.
And they quickly hit trouble against new-ball duo Jim Rhodes (two for 16 in 14 overs) and Brad Matthews (two for 36 in 11), sliding to 43 for three.
Rhodes trapped crack new signing Caleb Mierkalns lbw, while Matthews removed opener Sam Storey and the prized scalp of former Notts and Somerset batsman Matt Wood, who was stumped by Graeme Roberts for just six.
Plumtree’s second opener, Ben Milnes, laboured hard to try and hold his side together, staying for more than two hours to make 44 (four fours).
But Papplewick reinforced their command of the game with the introduction of talented young spinners Oliver Makin and Dane Straw.
New signing Makin (21), who has been on trial at Hampshire, returned impressive figures of four for 28 from 13.2 overs, while Straw, a product of Papplewick’s own youth system, took two for 28 from seven overs, including the wicket of Milnes, also stumped by Roberts.
The upshot was a poor total for the home team, which Papplewick had few problems knocking off. Dowman himself opened up with 24 (four fours), paving the way for an unbroken third-wicket stand of 96 to ease the visitors home by the 32nd over.
The stand featured more terrific batting from exciting fresh recruit Warren Nel (29 not out, three fours). But for once, even he was upstaged by Mark Nelson, who slammed an entertaining 55 not out (two sixes and seven fours) off 51 balls.
n PAPPLEWICK’S next match in the ECB National Club Championship has been put back to a week on Sunday (May 27).
The Regional Group Two, quarter-final trip to Yorkshire to play Bradford League outfit Hanging Heaton was originally due to be played last Sunday.
But the dates have been switched because of the fixture chaos caused by the early-season bad weather.
If Papplewick win, they will play either Whitley Hall, of Sheffield, or Chesterfield in the regional group semis. The winners of the 16 regional groups progress to the national stages of the competition.