Premier Division title within Peterborough’s grasp

Peterborough captain Ajaz Akhtar

Peterborough captain Ajaz Akhtar

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The Hevey Building Supplies NCL Premier Division trophy could be residing at Bretton Gate on Saturday evening.

If leaders Peterborough, who have a 69-point advantage over second-place Finedon Dolben, beat the Old Northamptonians on home turf then they will claim their first top-flight title for 16 years.

However, if Finedon’s clash with third-place Northampton Saints ends in a draw then a similar result would guarantee Ajaz Akhtar’s side, who were beaten by Finedon last weekend, the prize.

But the Boro captain would rather finish things off with a victory than have to rely on results elsewhere.

He said: “We still have a good lead at the top, but I want to finish the season in style rather than limp over the line.

“I’ll be looking for a good response against a very strong ON’s team.”

In previous years, clashes between Finedon and the Saints have had a major bearing on the destination of the title but this time the two clubs are battling it out for the runners-up spot, a position that could also go to the ONs.

With no decision made on whether their will be relegation to the second tier in the wake of the NCCC Academy’s withdrawal from the league, the battle to avoid finishing in 12th place goes on.

Both Horton House, who are 11 points adrift at the foot of the table, and Wollaston picked up valuable points from draws with the Academy and Wellingborough respectively last time out, and they face Wellingborough and Rushton this weekend.

Burton Latimer are not out of trouble just yet, despite a 27-point difference themselves and Horton, and they travel to Brixworth.

The weekend’s other fixture sees Stony Stratford entertain the Academy.

The promotion battle in Division One remains a difficult one to call.

Oundle’s trouncing of Loddington last week and Desborough’s inability to get the better of Finedon 2nd means that the former now have a 13-point lead heading into their trip to fourth-place ONs 2nd.

Desborough travel to Wellingborough Indians and Rushden, who cannot be counted out of the reckoning, go to struggling Isham.