CRICKET: Notts Premier League weekend preview

Papplewick and Linby are firmly rooted to the foot of the Notts Premier League table and time is running out for them to start winning.

They have the toughest task this weekend as they travel to Langwith Road to take on leaders and reigning champions Cuckney.

The visitors lucked out last week when former England opener Mal Loye broke a thumb in the field and is likely to be out for four to six weeks.

In the match between these sides earlier in the season, Papplewick managed to hold on nine wickets down after skipper Jim Rhodes top-scored with 49.

He is also their leading wicket-taker this term with 23 wickets at fewer than 22 runs each.

That day also saw 50s for Tom Ullyott and Will Butler before Richard Stroh took 5-48.

Rolls Royce sit five points behind Cuckney and this weekend they welcome Welbeck who are in 10th spot, 16 points above the relegation zone.

The visitors have signed Derbyshire’s Billy Godleman for the remainder of the season and they hope that he will make his debut against Rolls Royce. They are also likely to have Jake Ball back in tow, significantly enhancing their bowling attack.

Their draw last weekend against Caythorpe broke a four match losing streak, although they were only three runs from defeat.

Rolls Royce will be without Luke Fletcher, who is in the Nottinghamshire squad for the away trip to Taunton, but Tom Lungley is in outstanding form, having scored 509 runs, including an unbeaten 107 in the draw at Papplewick last weekend, when Adeel Shafique also recorded his first ton of the season.

If Welbeck struggle, a Farnsfield win away at Kimberley could see them swap places and climb out of the bottom two.

They, too, are likely to be shorn of one of their professionals as Graeme White is in the Notts squad in Somerset, but Paul Franks will likely play though may not bowl after his hand injury.

They also have plenty of form players with Jamie Wagstaff having two five wicket hauls in his tally of 25 league victims, most recently with his return of 5-63 against Rolls Royce two weeks ago.

Kimberley are 23 points ahead of Farnsfield but with only two wins this year, one fewer than their opponents on Saturday.

They may have added to that tally last weekend but the rain came to curtail their game when they were 44 runs short of the target that Clifton had set them; Atif Sheikh and Alex King had earlier taken three wickets each in bowling Clifton out for 223.

Clifton separate Kimberley and Welbeck in the table and this weekend they travel to take on Mansfield Hosiery Mills, who are having a good season, currently lying in fifth.

It was a high-scoring game the last time these two met at The Fieldings with tons for Gareth Curtis and Tom New in their first innings score of 258 for 4.

Martin Weightman took all three bowlers’ wickets that day for Clifton and also ran out Sudesh Fernando to claim a full house.

Clifton’s form has been up and down with only one win since they had consecutive wins against the three sides below them in the league at the end of May.

Scott McNeill leads the batting attack with four half-centuries in his total of 380.

Caythorpe’s form has been variable of late, being without an outright win since the middle of June although they have had two winning draws since then.

This weekend they host the Nottinghamshire Academy, still smarting from their loss to the Cavaliers last weekend.

That defeat broke a sequence of six wins from their last six games, and they will consider that a target of 209 against a talented batting line up like the Cavs is where they lost the game.

Sam Kelsall hit 75 at the top of the order but no one could stay with him after he and Tom Rowe put on 110 for the first wicket.

Caythorpe’s game last weekend against Welbeck nearly saw them get back to winning ways when they ended just three runs short of victory after 50s for the experienced pair of Darren Bicknell and skipper Andy Hunt, after James Hindson spun Welbeck out with figures of 5-28 from 9.2 overs.

The final game sees Plumtree travel to Birchover Park to try to achieve a season double over the West Indian Cavaliers.

Earlier this year, Plumtree were dismissed for an under par 127, but roared back to skittle Cavs for just 71 in 35 overs.

Skipper Ben Thompson took 6-64 in the losing draw last week at home to Hosiery Mills, but only James Gamble (32) and David Bedingham (69) featured as Plumtree secured a draw nine wickets down.

The Cavaliers are the form team of the league, having won five on the trot and Aaron Thomas remains a key player; his four stumpings last week demonstrated what he brings to the fielding and bowling effort.