Massive tests ahead for Hucknall

Hucknall face a daunting Bank Holiday weekend with home games against Nottinghamshire Premier League leaders Kimberley Institute on Saturday and local rivals Papplewick & Linby on Monday.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 4:54 pm
Sam Johnson - bullish ahead of big weekend of cricket.

But captain Sam Johnson believes his side can upset the odds.

“It is a massive weekend,” he admitted. “But if we can have a bit of early luck in both games, there is no reason why we can't be positive, grab the initiative and run with it.

“I am cautious as they are two really good sides, but I am positive and optimistic in the lads we've got that we can actually turn a few heads this year and this weekend.

“I am going into the games bullish and confident as in a win/lose season with no draws in play I think we will see more shocks and games lost than before. It changes teams' mindsets. Everyone loves a good underdog story so I don't see why we can't do that.”

Saturday will see Johnson reunited with his former club and he said: “Kimberley was my home for six years and they are a fantastic club who keep getting better year by year. They will be a really tough test.

“Kimberley are notoriously strong and deep with both bat and ball which means a game against them is never over. But with the talent we've got we can take the game to them and try to impose ourselves on them as they do to other teams.”

Monday then brings the big local derby and Johnson said: “Papplewick at home is the kind of fixture everyone from both sides looks for when the fixtures first come out. It's Bank Holiday so hopefully we'll get a good atmosphere down at the Gatehouse.

“Papplewick have been been more recent in their growth and it's been more organic. It's made them a really strong side - one of the best three or four in the league. But they come into it on the back of not playing Saturday and then losing on Sunday. We won our last game so I don't see why we can't channel that.”

Hucknall saw their rained-off game at Mansfield Hosiery Mills last weekend as a lost opportunity for vital points.

“It was a really frustrating day to be frank, seeing other clubs around the Mansfield area get full games in. So for us to not to even bowl a ball was really disappointing,” said Johnson.