North Middlesex captain Hughes 'proud' of team's achievements

Joel Hughes of NMCC during North Middlesex CC vs Hampstead CC, Middlesex County League Cricket at Pa

Joel Hughes of NMCC during North Middlesex CC vs Hampstead CC, Middlesex County League Cricket at Park Road - Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo

North Middlesex captain Joel Hughes insists his side can be "proud" of themselves after finishing second in the Middlesex County Cricket Premier Division.

Hughes’ side sealed a seven-wicket victory over Ealing on the final day of the season but just fell short by three points in the title race as Crouch End were crowned champions. 

The skipper feels they had a good season, especially given the injuries and availability issues they dealt with this campaign. 

“All we said before the game was that we wanted to win the game and beat Ealing. We did that pretty soundly,” Hughes said. 

“We didn’t have much control over anything else. Teddington and Crouch End are two good teams, we expected them to win and they did, but I think we can be very proud of what we’ve achieved this season. 

“Especially given our availability issues, our Middlesex pros not being able to play much, I was injured for seven games, James Parslow was injured for five games, so to finish second with a really good chance of winning it was a great achievement.” 

Ealing won the toss and elected to bat first, where they were bowled out for 68 runs thanks to Hughes (6-11), Will Vanderspar (2-10), Alex MacQueen (1-16), and Uzair Amjaid (1-4). 

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“To beat Ealing comfortably twice in a season is fantastic and a testament to how much we’ve improved as a club," Hughes said.

“A real positive is that we’ve got five or six new faces in the first-team this year and they’ve all fitted in brilliantly and contributed to the team. 

“We’ve got a strong squad, everyone is enjoying their cricket, we’re in a good place as a team and as a club so we want to try build on that and look to go one better next year.” 

The skipper admitted it was nice to be back out playing in a normal season after a shortened season last time around due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“It’s been a way of escaping all of that on a Saturday each week," Hughes said. "It was great to be with the lads when you’re just focused on cricket. It’s amazing how quickly all the other things disappear.”