North London aim to seal survival with victory at Kenton
Stand-in skipper Sam Bardon says North London must target victory at Kenton on Saturday – even though a four-point draw will guarantee their survival.
NL go into their final game in buoyant mood, on the back of successive wins that earned them a six-point cushion over bottom side Bessborough and kept their fate in their own hands.
Bessborough must now overcome Harrow to have any hope of sending either Saturday’s opponents or North London down in their place.
And Bardon, who will lead NL in the absence of regular captain Jack Atchinson, plans to take a positive approach and maintain the momentum built by those recent victories, against Winchmore Hill and Harrow Town.
“I think the way you get into a position to take a winning draw out of the game is to go into it trying to win,” said Bardon. “To try and draw the game is a dangerous way to look at it.
“We have to continue what we’ve built up during the second half of the season and, if we play like we did in the last two games, we should be in a good position to finish the job off.
“Jack’s tried to involve me as much as he could over the course of the season and I’m looking forward to it.”
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North London’s prospects of retaining their league place looked bleak at the start of July, anchored in bottom spot with just three points from their first eight games.
But a 58-run win over Kenton sparked a remarkable recovery from the Montenotte Road side and they will now stay up if they repeat the trick this weekend.
“Since that first win against Kenton our form in the second half of the season has probably been up there with anyone in the league other than Highgate,” said Bardon.
“It would have been easy after that start to just think ‘it’s not our season’ and roll over. It certainly looked unlikely we’d come into this last game knowing we’d be safe if we did our job.”
NL were comfortable winners against Harrow Town, who were inserted and shot out for just 54 in 25 overs, with Tom Wakeford returning figures of 7-32.
Ralph Pedersen and Ibrar Tariq then knocked off the runs in only 9.4 overs to clinch a resounding 10-wicket victory.