Crucial game ahead for Hucknall after crushing by Cavaliers
Hucknall were well beaten by the mighty Cavaliers & Carrington in the Nottinghamshire Premier League on Saturday.
But, ahead of an important trip to fellow bottom two side Mansfield Hosiery Mills this weekend, captain Sam Johnson said their season would not be defined by results against the top sides.
Hucknall were beaten by 188 runs in the end, but Johnson said: “Any time you lose by 180 runs it's never been a nice day. “But when you're playing probably the best team in the Midlands everything has to go absolutely swimmingly or you are in trouble.
“But our season won't be defined by those fixtures. It will be defined by playing teams at our level, in and around where we are.
“So I try not to read too much into these fixtures.
“It's just the nature of the beast that if a side with that amount of quality and first class experience play well and field well you're going to have a tough afternoon.”
He added: “The key to survival and moving on up in this league is beating the teams around you.
“We did that first weekend with Attenborough, we didn't do it against Clifton. So it's really important we look to do it again on Saturday.
“I am not naïve enough to think that it's a must-win game by any stretch as the season is played over 22 games, not four or five.
“But we have to try our best to beat these teams around us.
“Hosiery Mills have some key players who are matchwinners in Premier League cricket so we have to be wary of that and focus on doing the basics as well as we can.”
Cavaliers amassed 281-6 in 47 overs, Kashif Ali with 91, Shivsinh Thakor with 61 and Louis Kimber with 52.
Nolan Benson did manage 29 in reply, but Nayyar Abbas (5-222 off six) and Rehan Ahmed (3-23 off four) ripped through them and Hucknall were all out for 93 in 27 overs.
“With not being able to train because of the weather it was a really tough first game back,” said Johnson.
“Cavaliers are a really good side, full of depth in both departments.
“If luck had gone slightly differently we might have got a few early wickets, but unfortunately cricket is a game of very small margins and it wasn't to be.
“Credit to them. Their number four (Ali) batted really nicely and got them into a very good position.
“It's always tough chasing such a big score.
“We didn't have maybe that five per cent of luck that you need when you're chasing a big total.
“We were a bit unfortunate with a couple of our dismissals to put it politely, and when that happens it makes it really difficult.”
Hucknall had a brighter day on Sunday when they beat Wollaton away by 13 runs in the first round of the NPL Twenty20 competition.
They made 115-7, Waseem Fazal with 30 and Vinay Landa 28, and Wollaton fell short on 102-9, Fazal and Johnson both taking 3-22.
“We had quite a few lads missing but we put on a really good performance,” said Johnson.
“We were poor with the bat to start with but then we turned it around.
“That means we are one game away from a Premier League finals day which is a nice positive to take away from the weekend.
“Hopefully we will take that rather than anything from Saturday into this weekend.”