Middlesex County League Premier Division season preview: North Middlesex
Skipper Tom Nicoll has challenged North Middlesex’s top-order batsmen to give last season’s talisman Evan Flowers more support as the Crouch End club bid to maintain their progress in the Premier Division.
The Park Road side, who are sponsored by north London estate agents Benham & Reeves, have finished fifth in each of their two seasons in the top flight – but they were 19 points better off last term compared to the 2014 season.
The club have a new coach, Dave Robson. And, with 19-year-old overseas player Mitch Murray arriving from Auckland to boost the batting line-up, while the club’s youngsters continue to gain experience, Nicoll is looking forward to hosting reigning champions Hampstead in Saturday’s opener.
“There is real excitement at the club for the coming summer,” he said. “Halfway through last season we were second in the league and looking very promising, but a loss of form in the second half saw us fall away.
“It was frustrating as the signs were there of a league-winning team and I was hopeful of a top-three finish. We seemed to win emphatically one week and then also lose in a similar fashion the next.
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“Our Player of the Year was veteran Evan Flowers, who scored 634 runs at an average of 40. Evan was a class act all year but often stood out on his own – we need our other top-order batsmen to give him more support this season.
“Even so, we accumulated 19 more points than in 2014 and have become a more established team in the league, with greater experience of how to churn out points.
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“The continuing rise of young homegrown players like Ethan Bamber, Joe Cracknell and Connor Nurse is really exciting. These youngsters, alongside the rest of our academy boys, have really developed over the winter and I’m sure they will solidify their places in the top senior teams.
“As always, colt development and progression is the main emphasis at North Middlesex, with the focus on helping each player to reach his full potential.”