North Wales Cricket League Premier Division PREVIEWs – Saturday, July 20
Menai Bridge v Bangor
Not much has separated neighbours Menai Bridge and Bangor all season.
Back in May, the Anglesey side ran out winners by just three runs against the Citizens in a low-scoring thriller at Ty Newydd.
And just past the midway point of the campaign, there is only a point between these great rivals in the North Wales League Premier Division.
Bangor lead the table on 132 with the Bridge second on 131 and Mochdre third with 129.
Which all nicely sets up today’s Menai Bridge v Bangor derby at Tyn-y-Caeau.
The only thing which could prevent a potential classic is the weather.
Bangor skipper Gareth Edwards said: “I hope the weather does not interfere with what should be an epic match.
“We will be concentrating on delivering our skills and we all appreciate what is on the line with the victors opening up a gap on the chasers.
“How decisive the game proves to be will not be known until two months time. There will still be plenty of points to play for during the remainder of the season. Big games are so much fun. Bring it on.”
Brymbo v Llandudno
It’s a massive weekend for Llandudno with a trip to Brymbo tomorrow and then a Welsh Cup quarter-final at St Fagans on Sunday.
Jack Rimmington’s side are in fine form, a run of four straight league wins lifting them to fourth in the standings.
“We’re expecting a tough game on Saturday against Brymbo, who are looking stronger by the week,” said the captain.
“It is the start of a huge two days for the club, with the trip to Cardiff for Sunday’s game against St Fagans, but we cannot be distracted by that and must keep winning to put pressure on the top 3.”
Mochdre v Pwllheli
On-fire Mochdre also have a big double header this weekend.
First, they will look to keep up their title quest when Pwllheli visit Black Marsh Fields, then Matty Humphreys‘ men host Swansea in the Welsh Cup quarters on Sunday.
Mochdre have won their last eight completed league encounters in succession, with thrilling victories over Bangor, Menai Bridge and Llandudno included.
Humphreys, who passed 500 league runs for the summer last weekend, said: “It’s a very big weekend for us with two home games – Pwllheli Saturday and Swansea in the Welsh Cup quarter finals on Sunday.
“Coming off as winners in two close games last weekend has further boosted morale. We are looking forward to the challenge that Saturday and Sunday present.
“As a group we are enjoying our cricket and we will be looking to replicate last weekend’s success.
The team for both games is: Gareth Goodson, Stewart Williams, Matt Humphreys, Alex Davies, James French, Sam Davies, Gareth Davies, Adam Buckley, Sean Reilly, Russ Boswell, Kyle Brown.
Pwllheli skipper Morgan Murray-Williams said: “We have a full side this weekend, and with back to back wins we’re confident we can continue our run of good performances.
“We’ve managed to build a healthy gap from the relegation zone, and our goals have changed slightly since the beginning of the season.
“Hopefully we can get as close to last year’s points tally as possible. Mochdre have some quality players, which is showing in the league table. And after beating them at home, I’m sure they’ll be very motivated to square things up.”
Northop v Denbigh
Joe Lewis and Andy Clarke return to replace Alec Lewis and Ciaran Lucas for a Denbigh side aiming to complete the double over an always dangerous Northop.
“We always look forward to playing Northop as it’s usually an exciting game,” said Denbigh captain Harrison Jones.
“Both teams match up pretty similar with good lads that want to play hard cricket. We are confident and look forward to the challenge.”
Pontblyddyn v Connah’s Quay
Quay continue searching for that elusive first win when they travel to Alder Meadow.
Skipper Martin Burger says: “We are looking forward to another great fixture this weekend facing our local derby rival Pontblyddyn. This is always a good and exciting game, with tight wins.
“We will be looking to put their first win on the table and start closing the gap on the teams above.”
Quay welcome Tom Hooson, run-machine David Fox and Josh Clarke back into the fold.
Experienced Pont captain Glenn Chambers says: “We are looking forward to playing a sleeping tiger in which can be a dangerous Quay sauce. We are ready, prepared and looking forward to putting in a performance.”
Team: Glenn Chambers Ben Mason, Ali Roberts, James Griffiths (WK), James Hughes, Jon Byrd, George Forgrave, Daz Wilcock, Chris Myles, Dave Foulkes, Chris Moss.
Gresford v St Asaph
Two teams pushing towards mid-table will target a morale-boosting win on Saturday.
Saints won the reverse encounter at Elwy Park Grove back in May by 24 runs.
Both sides have potential match-winners and it could end up very close.