The pick of this week’s fixtures in the NPL sees second play third as Rolls Royce travel to Birchover Park to take on the West Indian Cavaliers; the Cavs are in awesome form having secured 13 wins this term, the last eight in a row.
The last defeat was away at Rolls Royce in June when Adam Shepherd and Liam Andrews each took four wickets as the Cavaliers were dismissed for 189.
Bilal Shafayat top-scored that day with 73 and he is 12th in the league batting stats with 560 runs, with team-mates Akhil Patel (629) and Usman Afzaal (673) also scoring heavily.
Both Rolls and the Cavaliers have still to play leaders Cuckney in what could become one of the closest finishes in recent memory.
On paper, Cuckney will be confident of collecting 20 points when they take on Plumtree at the PCG to maintain their place at the top of the pile; the south Notts side are in one of the biggest form slumps in the league having lost three and drawn two since their last win away at Welbeck in July.
But they will take confidence from their 5-wicket victory over Cuckney last year when Matt Wood and Wasim Rana put on 102 for the 6th wicket to secure the win.
Cuckney’s run of 6 straight wins was ended last weekend at Lady Bay when their game with Academy was curtailed by the rain; they needed 62 from 5 overs but had Billy Root unbeaten on 92 and their fast-scoring capabilities are amongst the best in the league.
At the other end of the table, the bottom two meet as Farnsfield travel to Papplewick for what could be a highly decisive game for both sides; a home win would not get Papplewick off the foot of the league but would give them a glimmer of hope that they could survive.
An away win would give Farnsfield their fifth of the season and potentially move them out of the bottom two depending on results elsewhere.
Papplewick’s solitary win of the season was away at Farnsfield, who were bowled out for 135 with 4 wickets for Kieron McComb and three each for Jim Rhodes and Jack McIver.
Farnsfield’s most recent win came away at Kimberley three weeks ago but they were in with an excellent chance of beating Mansfield Hosiery Mills last week before the rain ended proceedings; defending 148, they had the Millers 87 for 7 with a pair of wickets each for Jamie Wagstaff, Mark Silcock and Dave Loveridge.
Welbeck are another aside fighting for their future and this weekend they welcome Clifton to Sookholme hoping to avoid suffering a double defeat to the south Notts side; they lost to Clifton by 99 runs in June when Scott McNeill and Jarrod Coombe put on 173 for the first wicket on the way to a first innings total of 266.
Welbeck will be hoping that recent signing Billy Godleman will find some form after only 35 runs in his first three innings for the club.
Caythorpe welcome Mansfield Hosiery Mills who are one place and 26 points ahead of them and the home team will be keen to bounce back from their 5 wicket loss last time out to the Cavaliers; Josh Mierkalns regained his outstanding early season form with a stunning hundred two weeks ago against Plumtree taking his seasons tally to 561.
Hosiery Mills have not won in the last three after the abandoned game with Farnsfield and the 176 run loss at the Cavaliers the week before.
Tom New remains the league’s leading run-scorer with 717 runs but teammate Gareth Curtis is also in the top 10 with 656 runs at an average of 41.
The final game takes place at Lady Bay where the Nottinghamshire Academy take on a Kimberley side that has taken great strides towards avoiding the drop in recent weeks; after their loss to Farnsfield two weeks ago, Sam Ogrizovic’s side they have beaten Papplewick and had the better of a draw with Welbeck.
In Paldip Sidhu, they have one the most exciting young talents in the league and he underlined this with his third NPL century in the Welbeck game.
The Academy had a six match winning streak in early June but have lost two and had two games abandoned since.
Two of the key members of the county side made their one-day debuts last week for Nottinghamshire in the victory over Bangladesh A at Trent Bridge; George Bacon took 2-62 including a wicket with his first ball before Adam Tillcock hit 97 not out from 70 balls to win the game.