Dolben can be 'in the mix' if they're at their best

Horton House celebrate a wicket during their victory over Rushton in the NCL Premier Division last weekend. Picture by Dave Ikin
Horton House celebrate a wicket during their victory over Rushton in the NCL Premier Division last weekend. Picture by Dave Ikin

Callum Berrill believes Finedon Dolben are capable of being “in the mix” at the top end of the Hevey Building Supplies NCL Premier Division if they perform to their best this season.

It’s now been seven years since the title came to Avenue Road but the signs for the current campaign have, so far, been fairly encouraging.

Dolben sit in third spot behind reigning champions Old Northamptonians and Peterborough after seven matches.

It’s a start that has left captain Berrill content, although he insists he will be doing all he can to continue to bring the best out of his team.

“I am very pleased with the start we have made to the season after all the wet weather in March and April pushed the season back,” the Dolben skipper said.

“As a club we are fortunate to have good depth within our player bank and a ground with facilities arguably the best in the county.

“Combine this with a group of guys that enjoy spending time together and you have a formula that has the potential to win games.

“We focus on our individual roles within the team and the club has encouraged our players to play with freedom and move away from the apprehension of failure.

“These are part of a multitude of factors that have led to our early-season success.

“As for the season, we are very much taking it one game at a time. I am conscious that you are always learning and as a team we are keen to continue doing so.

“Cricket has a habit of being unpredictable and as such I am reluctant to allow the side to stand still.

“I will continue to try and bring the best out of the players as individuals and a team and if the guys are at their best then we will be in the mix come the latter stages of the season.”

Finedon’s latest success came in the form of an 84-run victory at Geddington last weekend.

Sean Davis (92), Jack Chopping (51) and Chris Todd (48) led Dolben to 284 all out before their bowlers did well to restrict the hosts to 200-4 in the reply, in which Tiaan Raubenheimer top-scored with an unbeaten 66.

And Berrill added: “In the end it was a comprehensive win, we showed our strength in depth. It was a great team effort but far from a perfect performance.

“Putting 284 on the board was good but Geddington is an excellent batting pitch and has a fast outfield too, so yes the bowlers put in an excellent performance to restrict them to 200.”

Oundle clinched their first win of the Premier Division campaign with an impressive eight-wicket success over Rushden.

Batting first, Rushden reached a competitive total of 228-7 from their 50 overs with Ben Paine being the star of the show as he carried his bat for an unbeaten 97 while Jordan Baxter chipped in with 46.

But Oundle made no mistake in the run chase.

Peter Foster and Ben Graves (68) put on 142 for the first wicket and Foster guided his team over the line with an unbeaten 88 as they reached the target on 231-2 with plenty of time to spare.

Elsewhere, it was a tough weekend for the local teams as Brigstock went down by eight wickets to high-flying Peterborough while Rushton were beaten by four wickets at Horton House.

Overstone Park and Desborough are setting the pace at the top of Division One.

Overstone sit at the summit in the early table after they maintained their unbeaten start with a 46-run success at Loddington & Mawsley last weekend.

But Desborough are just two points behind them after they inflicted a big 10-wicket defeat on Irthlingborough.

Jack Bilson was the star of the show as his spell of 9.1-2-18-7 helped skittle the visitors out for just 50 while Tony Hall (9-2-30-3) took the other wickets.

Simon Renshaw (28no) and Craig Burger (21no) took care of the simple run chase as Desborough’s fine start to the campaign continued.