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Cricket: North Middlesex enjoy double delight with weekend wins in league and cup

PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 August 2017

North Middlesex celebrate their win over Hampstead in the Middlesex Premier Division on Saturday (pic: Peter Hollman)

North Middlesex celebrate their win over Hampstead in the Middlesex Premier Division on Saturday (pic: Peter Hollman)

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North Middlesex triumphed in both Middlesex Premier Division and Middlesex KO Cup

North Middlesex enjoyed a remarkable weekend that saw them triumph in both league and cup.

On Saturday, Tom Nicoll’s men snatched victory from the jaws of defeat to beat Hampstead by two wickets in the Middlesex Premier Division.

A day later, North Midds progressed to the final of the Middlesex KO Cup with a 76-run win at home to Richmond.

While the cup win was by a good margin, the league triumph saw Nicoll’s side pull off a chase that at one stage seemed beyond them.

After watching Hampstead reach 246-9, despite three wickets for Luke Hollman, the hosts were in trouble in their reply.

Will Vanderspar hit a valiant 74 for the North Midds, but when he departed, the hosts were floundering on 247-8.

However, an unbeaten stand of 77 between Nicoll (58) and Joel Hughes (27) saw them home with nine balls to spare, much to the skipper’s delight.

“It was an extraordinary game against Hampstead, who batted really well and posted a competitive total,” said Nicoll.

“We had our early collapse again and when we were 129-7, we looked down and out, but Will’s knock gave us some hope.

“For the eighth-wicket partnership that saw us home, there wasn’t much pressure on us as we looked out of it, so with nothing to lose it allowed us to play our shots and get the win.”

Against Richmond in the cup, a sublime 116 from Hollman and a knock of 56 from Joe Cracknell helped set up the win for North Midds, with Nicoll praising the young duo.

“Joe and Luke were superb up top for us with some beautiful batting. They’ve played a lot together in recent years and they’ve developed well,” he added.

North Midds now face Harrow St Mary’s in the final on September 9, which will take place at Richmond’s Old Deer Park ground.

Nicoll’s men hope to triumph in that game to add to the success of North Midds’ second XI, who successfully defended their Division One title.

There was also reason to celebrate for the fifth XI after they won promotion from the 1987 League Division Five.

North Midds firsts are back in Premier Division action on Saturday when they make the trip to Stanmore for their final away game of the league season.

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