Relish the big-match pressure urges County coach Ripley

Northamptonshire head coach David Ripley
Northamptonshire head coach David Ripley

David Ripley wants his men to seize their chance and thrive on the big-match pressure when they start their final home game of the season today.

Victory in their LV= County Championship clash with Kent will almost certainly send them into the first division as runners-up to Lancashire.

After their opponents over the next four days denied nearest rivals Essex victory last week, Northamptonshire are certainly in pole position to go up.

And Ripley wants to make sure they take the opportunity.

“We know this is a very big game and we’ve thought that side of it through,” the County’s head coach explained.

“We know matters are in our own hands and that is a nice way to have it.

“We certainly don’t want to be going to Worcester (in their final game next week) chasing too much and keeping an eye on what is happening elsewhere.

“If we win it will take a strange set of circumstances for us not to go up.

“That makes this a pressure game but I don’t want us to be put off by that. We will look forward to it.

“There has already been some big games for us this year in the Twenty20 and we’ve got some experienced campaigners in the team.

“There is a slight shift in personnel from the one-day stuff but not huge so we have already been through big games.

“Four-day cricket is a little bit different in that it is more of a marathon.

“But we will get stuck into it, use that pressure and thrive on it.”