North Midd’s Nicoll setting sights on cup double as title hopes are ended by Ealing
- Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo
North Middlesex captain Tom Nicoll is setting his sights on landing a county cup double this season after conceding the Middlesex League Premier Division title race.
Nicoll’s men host Richmond in the semi-final of the 45-over competition on Sunday (1pm), having already won the local T20 competition this summer.
And although his side have a home derby with Hampstead in the league on Saturday, Nicoll knows a 32-point gap on leaders Ealing is too big, following defeat against the pacesetters last weekend.
“They’re both big games this weekend and we’re up for the challenge of facing Hampstead as they’re always good games, but if we can win a cup double it will be a brilliant season,” he said.
“We’ve beaten Richmond twice in the league so fingers crossed we make it three out of three.”
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North Midd travelled to Ealing’s Corfton Road ground on the back of a win over Richmond but were sent into the field after losing the toss.
And they saw Liam O’Driscoll suffer a muscule injury while fielding, which meant he was unable to bowl.
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The visiting attack combined well nonetheless to dismiss the home side for 184 in the 45th over, to the delight of Nicoll.
He added: “I lost the toss, again. I don’t think I’ve won a toss for two months! I would’ve batted first on a good wicket, but it was one of our best bowling performances against a top quality batting team.
“Liam pulled a quad muscle, but everyone chipped in and there were not many bad balls.”
Joel Hughes (3-21) finished as the pick of the North Midd bowling, as Luke Hollman (2-24), Will Vanderspar (2-33) and Nicoll (2-42) all nabbed braces.
But hopes were soon dashed as the visitors slumped to 11-4 in reply, as their top order were wiped out by Harry Podmore and Scott Ensom.
Rob Fahrenheim (20) and Hollman (33) put on 47 for the fifth wicket, but Adam Price was the only other batsman in double figures as North Midd were skittled for 95 in 30 overs.
Nicoll added: “Our batting was very poor and let us down again. We crumbled, although Luke Hollman did well.
“Ealing have got some terrific bowlers and the pressure of chasing is quite large. It’s only our third year in the Premier, but we need to sort out our batting.”