Town out to avenge last sea­son’s de­feat

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - SPORT - By ALAN SWANN @Alan­swan­net

PETER­BOR­OUGH Town re­turn to the scene of the crime to­mor­row when vis­it­ing Brix­worth in the Northants Premier Di­vi­sion.

The city side were top of the ta­ble on the last oc­ca­sion they made this trip for the penul­ti­mate game of last sea­son know­ing two wins would have se­cured a first ti­tle since 1996.

But Brix­worth picked Town pock­ets by reg­is­ter­ing a shock win. Ajaz Akhtar’s men slumped from top to third and that’s where they fin­ished.

“It was a bad day,” Town skip­per Akhtar re­called. “We had worked so hard to be­come favourites to win the league and we blew it.

“To be fair the fact that we started last sea­son so poorly was a big­ger rea­son why we didn’t win the league, but we didn’t have time to re­cover from this de­feat.

“Brix­worth played well on the day and they are al­ways a very hard side to beat and I ex­pect to­mor­row to be no dif­fer­ent, but if we need an in­cen­tive to win we only have to re­mem­ber last sea­son’s match.”

Town again go into the game on top of the ta­ble as the Premier Di­vi­sion takes on a fa­mil­iar look. Northamp­ton Saints, last sea­son’s run­ners-up, are just a point be­hind Town in sec­ond spot, while reign­ing cham­pi­ons Fine­don are third.

It’s a top three Akhtar doesn’t ex­pect to see change be­tween now and the end of the cam­paign.

Akhtar added: “The cur­rent top three are the best three teams in the di­vi­sion by some dis­tance so I’m sure they will fill the three lead­ing po­si­tions at the end of the sea­son.

“The fin­ish­ing or­der is harder to pre­dict, but I do know that we will be giv­ing it our best shot in ev­ery game. We’ve started much bet­ter than last sea­son and now it’s a ques­tion of keep­ing the mo­men­tum go­ing.”

Town are the only side in the com­pe­ti­tion to have won all of their matches un­af­fected by the weather and they will be keen for that run to con­tinue at Brix­worth as they visit Saints the week af­ter.

Town are with­out seamer Basharat Hus­sain for to­mor­row’s trip. He in­jured an an­kle lead­ing the club’s Rut­land League side to vic­tory last Sun­day.

Off-spin­ning all-rounder Matt Mil­ner, who will now as­sume Town’s Rut­land cap­taincy for Sun­day’s trip to Mar­ket Over­ton, has been pro­moted into the Satur­day firsts giv­ing Akhtar four spin­ners to choose from. Five if Alan Bur­ton’s lob­bers are in­cluded. Teams: Peter­bor­ough Town 1sts (away to Brix­worth, Satur­day): P. Mcma­hon, L. Bruce, A. Akhtar, A. Bur­ton, A. Butt, D. Clarke, J. Smith, A. Rodgers, R. Sayer, C. Budd, M. Mil­ner.

Peter­bor­ough Town 1sts (away to Mar­ket Over­ton, Sun­day): M. Mil­ner, C. Mil­ner, D. Clarke, A. Bur­ton, R. Sayer, S. Wil­liams, J. Smith, A. Kak, R. Ken­dall, L. Bruce, A. Rodgers.

THERE’S a Lincs Premier Di­vi­sion derby at The Abbey Lawns to­mor­row (12.30pm) when Mar­ket Deep­ing make the short hop to tackle Bourne (12.30pm).

Deep­ing are cur­rently one place and two points ahead of their lo­cal ri­vals.

CAS­TOR are av­er­ag­ing 6.7 runs per wicket in their first two Cambs Di­vi­sion One matches. They’ve scored 134 runs for the loss of 20 wick­ets in de­feats at Wis­bech and Fox­ton.

They are back on home turf to­mor­row and it’s a mas­sive earl­y­sea­son rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle as Saf­fron Walden are the vis­i­tors to Port Lane (1pm).

The pair are locked to­gether at the bot­tom of the ta­ble on 23 points.

RULED OUT: Basharat Hus­sain misses Peter­bor­ough Town’s match to­mor­row be­cause of in­jury.

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