Cuckney on the verge of title win - weekend Notts Premier League preview

All smiles for Lewis Bramley (right) as he team mates congratulate him after his  match winning six   -Pic by:Richard Parkes
All smiles for Lewis Bramley (right) as he team mates congratulate him after his match winning six -Pic by:Richard Parkes

With only two games remaining in the 2013 season, last year’s champions Cuckney look odds-on favourites to secure back-to-back titles.

Their lead is currently 24 points over second placed West Indian Cavaliers, meaning they could be crowned champions if they secure 17 points or more this weekend.

Cuckney are travelling to Caythorpe on Saturday looking to score their second victory over the hosts this season.

In June, they won by four wickets with just 10 balls to spare and Richard Stroh was the batting star that day with an unbeaten 86 at the top of the order.

Caythorpe’s loss to Rolls Royce last week will have sapped their morale after they were bowled out for just 90 and they will hope the conditions favour the spinners with Jim Hindson keen to add to his season’s tally of 43 wickets.

The Cavaliers welcome Kimberley to Birchover Park looking for a win that keeps them in the race should Cuckney falter.

The Cavs lost to Cuckney last week, but bounced back the following day to overcome South Northumberland in the semi finals of the ECB National Club Championship.

Skipper Usman Afzaal continued his remarkable form with bowling figures of 2-47 before seeing his side home with 53 not out.

Visitors Kimberley will be without skipper Sam Ogrizovic for a second weekend running, and he was sorely missed last week as they had the worst of a draw at home to Plumtree.

Sam Johnson is in excellent form with the bat, having scored 599 league runs this term, and he demonstrated his worth to the side again last week with an unbeaten innings of 58.

Plumtree will hope to continue their good batting form from the last two weeks as they welcome Clifton to the PCG this weekend.

The home side hit 239-5 against Cuckney two weeks ago and bettered that with 310-4 last week against Kimberley, when brothers Ben and Sam Storey put on 197 for the first wicket, but both narrowly missed out on individual hundreds.

Skipper Ben Thompson is also in fine form, hitting a rapid 84 in the Kimberley game before taking 4-41 with the ball.

Clifton hope to welcome back former Plumtree player Caleb Mierkalns for the clash and also have Scott McNeill and Richard Harris in decent batting form after their 50s in the losing draw against the Academy last weekend.

Welbeck travel to Papplewick with the visitors hoping to secure another win to secure their Premier League future after their victory over Farnsfield last time out.

Papplewick scored only their second win of the season last week against Mansfield Hosiery Mills, a victory that was built around an impressive innings of 61 from Gareth Blinkhorn, batting at number nine, which was followed up by figures of 4-41 from Ross Fitz-John.

The last time Welbeck took on Papplewick resulted in a one-sided win for Welbeck by 10 wickets. That day in June saw Rob French lead the attack with figures of 6-35 followed by an unbeaten stand of 193 between Martyn Dobson (74) and Matt Higgins (103).

Farnsfield are still fighting to retain their status and this weekend, they travel to Lady Bay to take on the Nottinghamshire Academy.

Farnsfield fell to a 36-run defeat last week at home to Welbeck and will be looking to gather as many points as possible before they take on fellow-strugglers Plumtree in the last game of the season next week.

Their previous encounter with the Academy was rain-affected, but not before Osama Alam had struck 57 not out from 40 balls as they reached 165-7, chasing 229.

The Academy are in fourth spot with seven wins from their 20 games, but would undoubtedly have gathered more points had they not had five games affected by the weather - more than any other side in the league.

Sam Kelsall leads the league’s batting averages with 823 runs at 45.72 including two 100s, with a best of 106 against Papplewick in June.

Rolls Royce have a mathematical chance of the title, but will now realistically be fighting for second spot and this weekend welcome Mansfield Hosiery Mills to Watnall Road.

The Millers’ season is ending poorly as they have lost their last three completed games and were potentially on the losing track in a fourth when the rain interrupted their match against Farnsfield. Sudesh Fernando’s 64 in last weekend’s loss to Papplewick is their only half century in the last four games, suggesting some brittle batting form.

Rolls’ form has been much the stronger of the two, with three wins from their last four outings.

The form book therefore suggest a Rolls win as their bowling attack is strong, led by Adam Shepherd whose 56 league wickets are 12 more than any other bowler in the league.