Middlesex County League Premier Division: Joel Hughes pleased with North Middlesex squad ahead of two key games this weekend

North Middlesex players have a huddle before their Middlesex County League Premier Division match (p

North Middlesex players have a huddle before their Middlesex County League Premier Division match (pic: North Middlesex CC). - Credit: Archant

The Park Road side host second-placed Richmond on Saturday before taking on Wycombe House in the Middlesex knock-out cup a day later

North Middlesex captain Joel Hughes is happy with how the 2018 campaign has gone so far ahead of a big weekend for the club in two competitions.

The Park Road side will play host to Richmond in the Middlesex County League Premier Division on Saturday in a game which will see third take on second.

After such a big match, North Middlesex will then continue the defence of their Middlesex knock-out cup title with a last-16 clash at home to Wycombe House.

First of all they will do battle with second-placed Richmond on Saturday and Hughes is happy with how his team are shaping up.

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He said: “It is a big game and we are in a good place. We are missing a couple, but we do have Ethan (Bamber), Evan (Flowers) and Charlie MacLeod all back.

“The squad is in a nice place, so when players are unavailable it doesn’t necessarily feel like they are missing because we have such good people replacing them, so we are looking forward to Saturday.”

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The strength in depth should be highlighted again on Sunday as North Middlesex take on Division Two outfit Wycombe House in the Middlesex knock-out cup.

Hughes was part of the team which won the competition in 2017 after defeating Harrow St Marys in the final under the captaincy of Tom Nicoll.

And ahead of Sunday, their first proper fixture in this year’s tournament following two byes, the North Middlesex skipper said: “We are very keen to defend our title and everyone is up for it.

“With our squad so big and good, people are seeing this as an opportunity to perform and win a spot in the first-team.

“I think we will get a couple of youngsters involved to give them some experience in first-team cricket and Wycombe House are a bit of an unknown, but we know what we are about at the moment, so we’re looking forward to it.”

North Middlesex maintained their strong start with a 60-run win at Twickenham last weekend – their third success in the top flight this season.

Alex MacQueen passed fifty and trio Liam O’Driscoll, Luke Hollman and Will Vanderspar played key contributions as the visitors were all out for 265.

It was more than enough in the end as Nicoll claimed figures of 5-37 from 10 overs with Hollman (3-37) and MacQueen (1-49) backing him up on a good day all-round for the club.

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