North Wales Cricket League Premier Division PREVIEWS
Saturday, August 24
Connah’s Quay v Llandudno
Connah’s Quay’s relegation from the Premier Division was confirmed last weekend when their season-long winless run extended to 18 matches.
Despite having to accept they will be members of Division One in 2020, the Deesiders would still love to break their duck in one of the remaining four matches.
On Saturday, they welcome Llandudno, and Quay skipper Martin Burger said: “We knew it was going to be a very difficult season, and it’s proved it.
“This does not mean we have given up to still relish that first win and will keep fighting to achieve this. We have 4 games left and we won’t be giving up.
“Llandudno has some strong, respected key players, but it’s not been their strongest season. We will be hoping we can pull off this win at home.”
Llandudno captain Jack Rimmington reports several absentees, meaning a number of young prospects will be given a chance to show their skills.
“As players are away, it gives a chance for some younger lads to get a good go in the Premier League,” said Rimmington.
“Mission for the rest of the season is to finish strong and give the younger players an opportunity to gain valuable experience in the top flight.”
Denbigh v Bangor
Fifth-place Denbigh host a Bangor side 12 points clear at the summit.
Skipper Harrison Jones said: “We expect a tough game but with playing at home we are confident we can get the job done.
“We are slowly improving as a team and hope to keep moving forward with only a few games to go.”
Bangor captain Gareth Edwards stressed the importance of maintaining a winning habit with matches running out.
“We have a strong line-up for our trip to Denbigh,” he said. “Confidence is high and we must extend our winning run in order to maintain our lead at the top of the table.
“No complacency can enter our thinking and we must keep our high standards this week.”
Mochdre v St Asaph
Second-place Mochdre can keep their title hopes on the boil with a convincing win over an out-of-form St Asaph at Black Marsh Fields.
Captain Matty Humphreys reports a very similar side to the one which has operated in recent weeks will take the field.
“The side is settled and we are enjoying our cricket at the moment,” said Humphreys.
“The boys have done fantastically well to get us into the position we are currently in.
“We have a tough test this weekend against a very talented St Asaph side. We will look to continue the momentum built up in the last three weeks, and keep doing the basics well.
I think this Saturday has the potential to be a cracker.”
Mochdre: Gareth Goodson, Stewart Williams, Matthew Humphreys (c), Alex Davies, James French-WK, Gareth Davies, Sam Davies, Mike Humphreys, Sean Reilly, Russ Boswell, Kyle Brown.
Saints need to get points on the board to ensure they remain in the Premier, having slipped to fourth-from-bottom.
Skipper Will Ryan said: “These last four games will be big or us.
“We have a big chance to pull ourselves away from any danger this Saturday at Mochdre, who are a good side and have gone well this year but as I always say I know we can beat anyone in this league and just need to get it right on the field on the day,
“I know the lads are keen to put the last two months behind us really and finish really strong these last 4 weeks.
“We have a full strength side going into the game this weekend.”
Northop v Gresford
Seventh entertains eighth at Flint Road in what has the makings of a close encounter.
Northop have lost their last two, so will be out to improve. The scheduled reverse meeting between these two back in June was cancelled.
Pwllheli v Brymbo
Following a massive two-wicket win over Pontblyddyn last weekend, Brymbo edged 12 points clear of the drop zone.
Skipper James Claybrook said: “It was massive win against Pont for us last week and really puts the pressure on them after we opened up a 12-point gap from the relegation zone.
“We know a win against Pwllheli will pile the pressure on them when they play last year’s champions Menai on Monday.
“Pwllheli have had a few big wins this season and Morgan (Murray-Williams) will have plenty of confidence off the back of his career-best 100 last week.
“We know we are in for a tough game but believe we have more than enough with Dan Parry returning to get the job done.
“Two more wins and our safety will be confirmed I’m sure.”
CJ Craven, Henry Lunn and Ross Roberts miss out for the Steelmen, Dan Parry returns and Daniel Purdie plays his first game of season after injury
Monday, August 26
Pontblyddyn v Menai Bridge
After last weekend’s defeat against relegation rivals Brymbo, Pontblyddyn will be desperate to bounce back against the champions.
Ali Roberts, Chris Moss (taking the North East Wales Under-13s on their tour) and James Hughes are away for the Alder Meadow side.
Skipper Glenn Chambers said: “After another narrow defeat last week, we now need to take every game as it comes and expect a tough game against Menai.
“But, we can take positives from our performance against them earlier in the season and will be up for what will be a good game of cricket.”
Pontblyddyn team: Ben Mason, Glenn Chambers, Gethin Thomas, Dave Foulkes, Jon Byrd, James Griffiths, George Forgrave, Andy Watkin, Rhys Jones, Daz Wilcock, Aled Roberts.
Liverpool Competition previews
Saturday, August 24
1st XI ECB Premier League
Colwyn Bay v Bootle
Bottom side Colwyn Bay – who have five matches left to save their Premier status – certainly have their hands full when they welcome leaders and strong title favourites Bootle to Penrhyn Avenue.
Colwyn are 10 points from safety and desperately need a positive result over the mighty Liverpudlians.
Skipper Sion Morris reports: “A few changes for us this weekend for what are now becoming must-win fixtures for us to retain our position in the Premier League.
Back in the team are Will Higginson, Harry Ramsden and myself, and dropping out will be James Jones, Tom Roberts and Luke Russell.
“We’ll be hoping to emulate last season’s victory against Bootle although they’re a bit stronger this year and flying at the top of the table.
“However, with them being in such a good position they’ll be here to play a game and won’t worry about losing against us which could work to our advantage.”
1st XI First Division
Prestatyn v Northop Hall
Saturday’s derby at Beach Close sees Prestatyn more in need of a win than their mid-table visitors Northop Hall.
Although 23 points clear of the relegation places, the Seasiders are far from safe yet with five matches still remaining.
Isaac Sheridan comes in for Danny Pryde in the bowling department for Prestatyn, who are coming off a disappointing loss to Sefton Park last weekend.
Skipper David Harris said: “We were nowhere near our best in terms of performance last week so we will be looking to bounce back and ensure we put in the hard work and effort.”