Hughes warns North Middlesex not to underestimate Premier Division rivals Brondesbury

North Middlesex face the camera (pic: North Middlesex CC).

North Middlesex face the camera (pic: North Middlesex CC). - Credit: Archant

The Park Road club are on the road this weekend seeking a positive league result against their cup semi-final opponents

Joel Hughes has told his North Middlesex team they will have to play well to win at Brondesbury this year after failing to do so in the 2017 Middlesex County League Premier Division season.

A poor batting display last July saw North Middlesex lose by six wickets at Harman Drive after scoring just 159 with the bat.

Just over 12 months on, Hughes is determined to avoid a repeat, especially with the two clubs due to do battle again at some point later in the 2018 campaign.

He explained: “We lost away to Brondesbury last year, so we know we need to play well to win there and we also play them in the semi-finals of the knock-out cup fairly soon.

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“We want to try and keep some momentum going into the second half of the season, so hopefully we can get a good result, but we know it will be a tough game.”

North Middlesex’s title hopes took a blow last weekend when they lost by three wickets at home to Ealing.

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It saw the visitors move onto 73 points, 10 off leaders Richmond, with Hughes’ men now down in fourth and on 54 points.

With eight games to go, North Middlesex still have a chance of chasing down the pace-setters, but their best hopes of silverware now is the knock-out cup.

On Sunday, the Park Road club took another step towards the final with a comprehensive win over Shepherds Bush in the last-eight of the competition.

When Evan Flowers and James Parslow came to the crease, North Middlesex were 181-5 off 28.3 overs and by the time they had finished, the hosts had managed 362-5 from their 45 overs.

Flowers scored 131 off 100 balls with 17 fours while Parslow hit 107 from 58 balls – scoring 15 fours and five sixes.

Bush were quickly reduced to 155-9 in reply and it was enough to send North Middlesex through because one of the visitors’ team were unable to bat.

After Sunday’s win, Hughes is keen for his side to get on a roll again, he added: “I am trying to work out how we can help our younger players improve their consistency during the second half of the season.

“We will also give opportunities to some of the other guys we have coming through who are playing in the twos.

“Consistency is the challenge for us. It shows good character to keep bouncing back, but we want to get on a good run of form in the second half of the season.”

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