Flowers is proud of North Middlesex’s homegrown squad as title race goes down to the wire

PUBLISHED: 10:00 01 September 2016

Evan Flowers bats for North Middlesex. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Evan Flowers bats for North Middlesex. Pic: Paolo Minoli


North Middlesex batsman Evan Flowers is thrilled that the club’s policy of developing and promoting homegrown players has been rewarded as the fight for the Middlesex County League title goes down to the final day.

The Crouch End side secured their ninth successive victory in the Premier Division at the weekend, their four-wicket victory over Ealing ensuring they have now beaten every top-flight club in a row.

North Midd remain six points off the top of the table ahead of Saturday’s final round of fixtures, hoping to overtake Teddington on the line and win the County League crown for the first time since 1990.

But, regardless of the outcome, Flowers – who has been at the club for 10 years after arriving as the overseas player in 2006 – is proud of the squad’s progress.

“I guess the most satisfying thing is that all the young lads who have been at the club for so many years, they’ve all contributed at crucial times and it hasn’t been a one-man band,” said the Aussie, who lives in Nelson Road in Crouch End.

“A lot of clubs rely on a superstar or an overseas player or a pro, and we’ve basically got a homegrown bunch of mates who enjoy playing together who are also very good at cricket - the chemistry’s good.

“It’s not a team of superstars, it’s a superstar team. A lot of these guys who are doing well were barely toddlers - they were between the ages of five to 10 - when I was first here, so seeing them succeeding in the Premier League is fantastic.

“There’s Joe Cracknell, Connor Nurse, Will Nicoll, and even [captain] Tom Nicoll was just a teenager. Nick Brand has also contributed, he’s been here for a number of years.

“It’s just a great club and every year has its own magic, but with the satisfaction I get out of seeing the improvement in those young elite players, this has definitely been the best year in terms of the standard of cricket and the consistency.

“Our success is not based on poaching players from Oxford or Cambridge for a few seasons. We have a homegrown system and people are drawn to that because it’s quite rare now for London clubs to have a homegrown and consistent base of talented players.

“We’re very proud of that and it’s taken a lot of hard work from families like the Nicolls and the Brands. It’s a huge labour of love for a community of people, so we’re very proud and hopefully we do well on Saturday and we’ll see where we’re at.”

The frustration for North Midd is that, despite their hugely impressive winning run, they remain in the runners-up spot – which has now been secured at least – ahead of the campaign’s climax.

Tom Nicoll’s side must win away against Shepherd’s Bush, who are lying in the relegation zone, and hope leaders Teddington fall at the final hurdle when they visit seventh-placed Stanmore.

“We respect what Teddington have done,” said Flowers. “They’re a very good batting side and quite consistent - but I think we look back on the first few weeks where we were in winning positions and, maybe because we were a bit young and inexperienced, just didn’t take advantage of being in those positions.

“Part of it is trying not to look back and regret anything and just enjoying the ride, and we’ll see what happens at the weekend.

“We know we’ve seen teams slip up. At this level anything can happen and we know Teddington could be playing against a very determined Stanmore side because they’ve got to stay up - and Shepherd’s Bush are in the same position.

“They’ll be scrapping and we just need to make sure we keep doing what we’ve been doing for the last nine weeks.”

North Midd’s second team are also going into the weekend with a shot at their Division One title, attempting to hold onto top spot ahead of their Teddington counterparts as well as Richmond.

“We’ve got a squad of 20 first-team players we can pick from most weeks, so that really is the key,” said Flowers.

“In amateur cricket, when you’ve got guys who work night shifts and are doctors or lawyers or piano players and all the rest of it, it’s a very diverse team so having that depth is very important.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News


Wood Green’s Focus Football hosted a special tournament for youngsters at Fortismere School last Friday.


Hampstead & Westminster’s women moved six points clear at the top of the Conference East table with an emphatic 6-0 win over fellow Londoners Southhwark at Paddington Rec.


Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was in spiky form at his club’s training ground this week ahead of the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday.


England Women ran in seven tries as they beat Scotland at Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow to make it three wins from three in the 2018 Six Nations.


Beth Mead fired Arsenal into third in the FA Women’s Super League 1 as the Gunners beat Everton at Meadow Park on Friday.

Andros Townsend played 93 times for Tottenham Hotspur, but on Sunday he will be looking to beat his boyhood club at Selhurst Park

Yesterday, 22:31

Spurs could lose one of their two Belgian centre backs this summer

Yesterday, 17:00

Allianz Park outfit beat Tigers in last meeting on Christmas Eve


Melange, with locations in Barnet and Crouch End, has opened a third in Belsize Park. Here co-owner Justina Markauskaite talks about removing the borders between cuisines and why they put family at the centre of everything they do

Less is More, a group exhibition at the Daniel Raphael Gallery will feature emerging artists from England, Italy, France and the Czech Republic, from January 24 to February 16.

For people who suffer with feet problems, it is often difficult to find footwear that is both comfortable and stylish. There is a shop in the West End dedicated to changing that.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now