North Wales Cricket League Premier Division previews – Saturday, August 3
Bangor v Llandudno
With nine wins in their last 10 completed matches, and a 10-point lead at the Premier summit, Bangor go into Saturday’s home test against Llandudno as a team very much in form.
The Citizens will also be going for a double over the Lions, having won by six wickets at The Oval back in May.
However, Tudno are also a team to be respected and feared, lying fourth and just 20 points off top spot with six victories in their last seven completed fixtures.
Both sides have many potential match-winners – Bangor with top run-getter David Winter, who has accumulated above 500 for the season and the league’s current leading wicket-taker in Franco Kasner (34).
Llandudno can call on quality batsmen such as Sam Rimmington and Dan Evans, while skipper and new-ball bowler Jack Rimmington has notched up 30 league wickets.
Bangor skipper Gareth Edwards said: “It was very frustrating to spend an afternoon in Gresford watching drizzle last weekend. There is a mouth watering game in prospect at Ty Newydd this weekend so fingers crossed for a dry day.
“Llandudno will be smarting after our victory at their place earlier in the season. They were on a great run until weather intervened last week and with a few missing this week our squad depth will be tested.
“I remain confident with the incoming players who have solid performances behind them in the seconds and expect a top performance from my team.”
Brymbo v Gresford
Next-to-bottom Brymbo badly need a win over Gresford to boost their hopes of climbing clear of the relegation zone.
Much-improved performances in recent weeks give the Steelmen every chance of getting a positive result.
Skipper James Claybrook said: “We are looking forward to a local derby after being frustrated by the weather last week. Gresford gave us a thumping earlier in the season so we’re keen to put that right on Saturday.
“Every game is a must-win for us at the minute with our current position. We are confident of victories if we carry our recent form against the top sides into the last 7 games.”
Dave Blackwell and George Bourne are unavailable, so Ross Roberts and Will Smith step in.
Denbigh v Connah’s Quay
While Denbigh are aware they will face a Connah’s Quay outfit still without a win this season, skipper Harrison Jones insists no-one in the Ystrad Road camp will be taking anything for granted.
The Vale of Clwyd side did win comfortably on Deeside back in May, but the Quay were under-strength that day.
Jones said: “We look forward to the game against Connah’s Quay as last time we played them they were missing (Martin) Burger and (David) Fox, arguably two of the best bats in the league, so we got off lightly.
“It’s always a tough test against them so we’ve got to make sure we are all in good spirits and ready for a tough game.”
Menai Bridge v St Asaph
Second-place Menai Bridge will be going all out for maximum points to keep the pressure on leaders Bangor.
The champions take on a St Asaph team currently struggling to hit their best form.
Bridge skipper Dion Holden reports a full strength side for the match at Tyn-y-Caeau, with Gethin Roberts returning.
“It’s a massive game for us at home Saturday versus St Asaph,” said Holden. “Every point from here on in is important to us and the boys are raring to go after last weekend’s washout.”
Northop v Pwllheli
Pwllheli are in great nick ahead of their visit to Flint Road.
Five wins in their last six matches have lifted the Llyn side into the top six.
They also benefit from all other games being off due to rain last weekend, while they saw off Pontblyddyn at Parc Bodegroes.
Captain Morgan Murray-Williams is in magnificent form, as is overseas player Tristan Coetzee, who can do little wrong with bat or ball of late – one or the other usually comes up trumps.
Pontblyddyn v Mochdre
Returning Ben Mason skippers Pont on Saturday, while regular captain Glenn Chambers recovers from a knee injury.
Dave Foulkes also misses out through injury.
Jon Byrd, Daz Wilcock, Ali Roberts, Chris Moss, Aled Roberts and Chris Myles are also all away for the home side, as holiday season takes a grip.
Mike Todt makes his club debut, while the experienced Mark Neath returns to the fold for his first game this season.
Pont: Ben Mason (c) Rich Davies, Gethin Thomas, Mike Todt, James Griffiths, Tom Dawson, Mark Neath, James Hughes, George Forgrave, Ryan White, Harry Williams.
Wicket keeper-batsman James French is back for Mochdre after recovering from injury. All-rounder Gareth Goodson misses out through holiday.
Skipper Matty Humphreys said: “We are looking forward to making the trip to Pont, the boys are keen to get back in action after rain stopping play last weekend.”