North Middlesex in the title chase as they welcome rivals Hampstead
North Middlesex captain Joel Hughes is pleased to be in the Middlesex County Cricket Premier Division title race with three games left to be played.
Hughes and his side will welcome local rivals Hampstead to Crouch End Playing Fields on Saturday as they look to put themselves in control of the title race in the final few weeks of the season.
They currently sit second in the league table, but level on points with leaders Teddington, as they both battle it out to be crowned champions.
“At the start of the season, particularly after the first few games, if you would have said we’d be joint top with three games left we’d have taken it,” Hughes said.
“It’s always hard to come back after being beaten, but we have to try staying positive, there is still plenty of cricket to be played.
“We just have to turn up against Hampstead in the right mindset and our availability is better this week, so there is no reason why we can’t bounce back strongly.
“They’re down the bottom end, but the league as it looks now is pretty tight, and there is eight good sides in the league then two weaker ones.
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“Hampstead have some dangerous players so we will have to play well to win.”
It was a four-wicket defeat to Shepherd’s Bush on the weekend after winning the toss and electing to bat first where they were bowled out for 207 with Henry Howeld (107) top scoring with good support from Will Vanderspar (31) and Hassan Khan (26).
Shepherd’s Bush managed to score 211-6 in reply with a good all around batting display with Hugh Teesdale (2-46) and Jeremy Warner (2-48) the pick of the bowlers for North Middlesex.
“Of course, Henry Howeld batted superbly and batted us into a position after 25 overs, which we really shouldn’t have lost from and I think some not brilliant shots followed after that which meant we were probably 50 to 80 runs short of where we should have been after that start.
“That total would have been very hard to chase down. It didn’t help that we were missing three of our regular top six from red ball cricket.
“Henry obviously came in and did a fantastic job. We bowled well in periods and when we got inside 20 overs left we didn’t bowl as well as we had been and that probably cost us in the end.”