Ripley demands Northants maintain standards set in Leeds loss as Sussex come to town
The match may have ended in a heartbreaking one-run defeat, but head coach David Ripley says his team set the standard for the rest of the campaign in their clash at Yorkshire last weekend.
A pulsating match over four days ended with Northants falling just two runs short of victory, Wayne Parnell’s dismissal to Steve Patterson securing a thrilling win for the home side.
Along with Lancashire, Yorkshire are favourites to claim a top two place in Group 3 of the LV= Insurance County Championship, but Northants proved they can give them a run for their money.
Although admitting the defeat was ‘a tough one to take’, Ripley is taking the positives from it, and has told his players they need to replicate their ‘level of performance’ from the Headingley encounter for the rest of the campaign.
“It was a really good game of cricket, and we played our part fully,” said Ripley.
“But coming away with only four points, rather than coming away in second place in the league with just Lancashire above us was a disappointment.
“But we have to just crack on, and there were positives.
“Our aim now is to maintain that level of performance, because we can’t afford to drop off.
“There are no easy games in any of these groups, they are all very competitive, and you have to play your best cricket.
“Against Yorkshire we played good cricket over four days, and the margin was as small as it could be.
“So our target is to keep our standards high and hopefully we will get over the line in games to come.”
Northants are back in action today (Thursday) when they start a four-day clash with Sussex at Wantage Road.
The south coast side are third in the table, just four points above the County, and Ripley is expecting another close game.
“Sussex have had an interesting season, because the two games they have lost against Yorkshire and Lancashire, they were in positions to win both of them,” he said.
“They will have been properly kicking themselves in terms of games that got away from them.
“We have had some good games against Sussex in recent times, they are very competitive, and we are looking forward to it.
“We now have to bounce back and get that defeat at Yorkshire out of our system.
“We have to get stuck in, we have played pretty well at home so far, and we need to see if we can maintain that form.”