Nicoll delighted with North Middlesex win

Joel Hughes of North Middlesex (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Joel Hughes of North Middlesex (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo) - Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo

Club get Premier Division season off to good start

North Middlesex captain Tom Nicoll was delighted to see his side beat Finchley in their Middlesex League Premier Division opener.

Joe Cracknell hit 46 off just 36 balls, including eight fours, and Charlie MacLeod weighed in with a more watchful 36, but the hosts were indebted to a dogged stand from tailenders Joel Hughes (22) and Ed Bird as they were dismissed for exactly 200.

And a solid all-round display from the bowling attack ensured Finchley were all out for 142 in reply.

Nicoll said: “We didn’t bat particularly well, although Joe Cracknell played some lovely attacking cricket at the top of the order.

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“Our debutant Charlie also scored some important runs at number four and Adam Price hit the ball hard.

“But our number 10 and 11 put on 35 which turned the game and shifted momentum our way, giving us energy for the second half.

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“Joel Hughes hit a massive six and we’re always fairly confident in our bowling at home.”

Hughes (2-34) struck twice in four balls in the third over of Finchley’s reply to set the tone, with Adam Price (3-45) and Connor Nurse (2-11) also enjoying multiple success.

Will Vanderspar’s 10 overs cost just 11 runs, meanwhile, as North Middlesex kept the pressure on, with Nicoll adding: “Joel got two wickets in one over, including their dangerman, but there were a couple of missed chances too.

“Adam Price bowled brilliantly, Will Vanderspar kept it very tight, and they all chipped in. I’m lucky I’ve got a lot of options and it was rather comfortable in the end, although it didn’t feel like that during the game.

“We were not 100 per cent on our game so there is a lot to improve on, but it was great to get a win under our belts early on.”

The club face a busy weekend, with a trip to Southgate on Saturday followed by a National Cup home tie against Essex League outfit Chingford on Sunday.

Nicoll said: “We’re confident against most teams and should be at full strength (on Saturday).

“We played Chingford in the 20-20 last summer and beat them and it’s always about availability on Sundays. If we’re decent strength we should be confident.”

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