Defeat double in three days a reality check as Hucknall's fine start is halted

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Hucknall skipper Sam Johnson said the two defeats in three days last weekend were a 'reality check' as their fine start to the Nottinghamshire Premier League season came to an abrupt halt.

A seven wicket defeat at Gedling & Sherwood on Thursday was followed by an eight wicket loss at leaders Cuckney on Saturday and Johnson said: “We had a really good start to the season and played some good cricket, but over the weekend we were not quite good enough.

“But maybe it was the reality check we needed, especially on Thursday. We can't just turn up and expect to win because we've won a few games.

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“That's on me as captain and I have to make sure we are levelled in and focused for every fixture.

Hucknall's Harry Finch at Cuckney.Hucknall's Harry Finch at Cuckney.
Hucknall's Harry Finch at Cuckney.

“Teams knocked off 260 and 240 against us with relative comfort so I have to go away and look at it and address what balances I need to address.

“But we know we won't win every game, teams do lose fixtures.

“Although disappointing we've still had a healthy start and we are fifth in the league. If someone offered me the start we'd had at the start of the season I would have snapped your hand off.”

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On Thursday at Gedling, Hucknall were put into bat and made 261-9.

Sam King (104) and Nolan Benson (46) put on 92 for the fifth wicket and Ben Martindale contributed 28 while Muhammed Aqeel took 3-42.

The home side did lose early wickets in reply, but Oli Soames (105 not out) and Jonny Lawrence (91) then took a grip and eased them towards the finish line with 183 for the third wicket as they eventually made 264-3 in 48.1 overs.

Hucknall then faced the daunting trip to leaders Cuckney where they were again put into bat.

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Hucknall made 242-8 with 84 for Mathew Roberts, 37 for George Buckthorpe and 28 for Waseeem Fazal. Nick Keast took 3-17 and Josh Porter 3-57.

Cuckney then won it with plenty to spare with 246-2.

Keast completed a fine day's work with 85 and William Butler was 86 not out, Ewan Laughton adding 29 and Nick Langford 26 not out, Connor Ramm taking 2-50.

This weekend Hucknall face Clifton on Saturday and head for Kimberley a day later.

“Saturday is a great opportunity to bounce back at home to Clifton as I think we are two well-matched sides,” said Johnson.

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“We are missing a few players but I don't think there is a lot between us looking at the line-ups and we are good playing at home.

“Kimberley is always tricky. Missing players, it will be even tougher for us and we're under no illusions.

“But we've won the last two games we've played against them and will try to take it to them. So why can't we turn them over?”