Excitement levels rising at North Middlesex as seventh straight victory boosts title bid
PUBLISHED: 10:00 18 August 2016
Max Flego Sports Photography
Captain Tom Nicoll admits the excitement levels are rising after North Middlesex secured a seventh straight victory in their bid to deliver the club’s first Middlesex County League title for 26 years.
The Crouch End outfit beat Stanmore by 82 runs on Saturday and remain second in the table with just three games left.
Evan Flowers hit 51 and Connor Nurse notched an unbeaten 50 as North Midd posted a total of 213-9.
And, although they were without Joel Hughes and third-choice seamer Ethan Bamber, the hosts bowled their visitors out for 131 – the eighth time in nine games they have kept their opponents below 200.
North Middlesex are just six points off the top as the title fight approaches its climax – and leaders Teddington, who won the crown in 2014, face tricky tests against third-placed Richmond and fourth-placed Southgate in their next two matches.
“I’m not going to lie, it’s exciting – it’s very exciting,” said Nicoll. “The club won it back in 1990 before the league was divided but it’s been a while. We’re a good team, we’re confident in ourselves and we expect to win [each weekend].
“We were missing Joel and Ethan but Liam O’Driscoll stepped in and bowled brilliantly (taking 3-23). We’ve got a lot of strength in the bowling, which is great, and the batting’s good – everyone’s scoring a few runs.
“I’m aware that Richmond and Teddington are playing each other now but we’re not paying too much attention to that. It’s a big game but we’ve just got to focus on ourselves.
“We’ve got Twickenham away, which has been a bit of a bogey ground for us, and they’re near the bottom so they’ll be fighting for every point.
“We lost to them at home earlier in the season and they’ve got some good players. I’m surprised to see them down there really, they’re a good team. They’ve got Parminder [Singh], who’s a good bowler – especially at their place – and Carlos [Nunes] is a good captain and batsman.
“They’re similar to us really. They’ve been in the lower leagues for a lot of the last 10 years or so, and they’ve worked themselves up to the Premier League, as we have. There’s a good rivalry there.”