Mark Asks for one more home win!
NORTH London captain Mark Askew is hoping that home advantage will save his side as the Division Two relegation battle goes down to the final day of the season. NL host Enfield at their Crouch End ground on Saturday...
NORTH London captain Mark Askew is hoping that home advantage will save his side as the Division Two relegation battle goes down to the final day of the season.
NL host Enfield at their Crouch End ground on Saturday, knowing that anything less than victory will despatch them to Division Three next season - nearest rivals South Hampstead and Brentham play each other, and both cannot lose.
Askew's outfit were consigned to their final-day reckoning by a heavy defeat in their penultimate game of the season, crashing to 149 all out away against Southgate and going on to lose by nine wickets as the division's third-placed promotion hopefuls raced to 152-1.
And, while the skipper is in a stoical mood ahead of this weekend's climactic showdown with fifth-placed Enfield, he admits that he and his team-mates will be giving their all as they prepare the way for the next generation of North London cricketers.
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"If things don't go our way we won't be screaming that we don't deserve to go down. We would be finishing in the bottom two based on the cricket that we've played over the course of the summer, and we have to accept that," explained Askew.
"That said, there's certainly a bit of pressure on us and I'm sure there'll be more nerves than usual on Saturday morning.
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"We've got some fantastic juniors coming through, really exciting lads, and they're used to playing a good standard of cricket. We want them to come into Division Two, not Division Three, so it's our job to keep the first team in this league on Saturday.
"It's very difficult to say how it will go against Enfield. They beat us earlier in the season at their place, but we're very confident at home - we know the conditions well and I think we've taken about 35 of our 47 points from our home matches.
"Of course, Enfield are safe from relegation and they can't get promoted, so maybe they'll be a bit relaxed on the day. It will be interesting to see how they view it."
Askew concedes that a lack of strength in depth has cost North London this season, and the captain is missing key players for the crunch decider. No3 batsman Patrick Mills will be at a wedding, while opening bowler Tom Wakeford broke his hand a few weeks ago, and Ian Johns is racing to be fit.