North Middlesex continue to give captain Hughes a good headache
PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 July 2018
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The seam bowler conceded it is difficult to give everyone a chance with so many talented players at the Park Road club
North Middlesex captain Joel Hughes hailed the strength in depth at Park Road after a fine weekend, but admitted it causes him a tough selection headache.
Victories were achieved against Highgate and Brondesbury to keep them third in the Middlesex County League Premier Division table and also see them qualify for the final of the knock-out cup.
The first-team seem in a great place, but so does the rest of the club with talented youngsters Luke Hollman and Ethan Bamber representing England’s under-19s this year and the second and third XI’s top of their divisions.
“I think we are lucky to have a squad of 16 to 17 genuine first-teamers and in previous years we haven’t had that,” said Hughes.
“Even when availability is poor, we know people coming in have played for us before and can deliver.
“It is phenomenal for the club and our seconds and thirds are doing well, so it is a nice problem to have, but also frustrating at times as a captain!”
Results last weekend will have made Hughes’ task of picking a side to visit Finchley on Saturday even harder.
North Middlesex secured a win in the Premier Division, but only after a nervy finale at home to local rivals Highgate.
Skipper Hughes called correct at the toss and saw his team post 287-7 from 60 overs as Tom Nicoll top scored with 93.
James Parslow (67) also passed fifty and Will Nicoll (40) and Evan Flowers (48) made telling knocks to set a challenging total.
Highgate, to their credit, gave the chase a good go, but fell short after Liam O’Driscoll claimed 4-37 to help bowl the visitors out for 280 at Park Road.
The following day, Hughes took a strong team to divisional rivals Brondesbury for a semi-final tie in the knock-out cup.
North Middlesex batted first and once again Tom Nicoll shone with the bat to hit another half century – his fifth in a row – and Parslow also passed fifty.
It set hosts Brondesbury 272 to win and the away side managed to hold their nerve and books a spot in the final.
Hughes added: “The two wins last weekend were really important for the course of our season and we want to keep it going now.
“It is a really good track over at Finchley and we are batting well at the minute so hopefully we can get another good result.”