National Cup opener has Kimberley Institute excited
Kimberley Cricket Club begin this year's big adventure in the ECB Royal London National Club Championship on Sunday with a home tie against Leicestershire club Langtons.
Kimberley reached the national last 16 in 2015, winning in Kidderminster before a defeat at Liverpool club Northern.
Captain George Bacon said: “We are at Plumtree in the Notts Premier League on Saturday which is a game that, again, if we play well we should win.
“But then we we play in the national cup on Sunday which is a brilliant competition and one we've had a little bit of success in previously, so we are super excited about this weekend.
“In 2015 we went furthest with a similar group of players and reached the last 16.
“We beat Kidderminster away to take us into the last 16 and then went up and played Northern from the Liverpool league where they unfortunately got the better of us.
“But it was a brilliant journey and some of the most enjoyable club cricket I've played.
“We'd really like to go on a similar run like that again and get out of the regional stages to go and play some teams from other parts of the country.”
On their opposition, Bacon said: “I don't know a lot about Langtons.
“A couple of our lads used to play in the Leicestershire league and they've said they are a decent side who can be pretty unpredictable.
“On their day I am told they can be dangerous.
“It's quite rare now we get to play against a side and players we've never played against. So it's something different and we will be up for it.
“It's at home which is great as our ground is pretty unique. For teams that have never played there before it can be a bit of a shock to their system.
“They come out and see the hill and the dimensions and everything like that. We will try to use that to our advantage and I see no reason why we can't progress if we play good cricket.”
Kimberley will also have a better squad to call upon than recently.
Bacon said: “Not to make excuses, but on Sundays in recent years we have had players who play Minor Counties cricket or are still involved in the Notts set-up and it's been tough to put out the same side on a Sunday as a Saturday.
“We have still been strong but not exactly had the same personnel.
“That's not the case this year for the national cup and we will be able to put out almost exactly the same side as a Saturday which is really good and we want to make a really good go of it.”
Having convincingly beaten expected title rivals Cuckney last week, the weekend rain and postponement of the visit of Caythorpe was a dampener on their momentum.
“It was pretty disappointing. I hadn't seen a forecast as bleak as that actually materialise in a long time,” said Bacon.
“I went up to the ground about 9am and it was pouring with no sign of stopping, so we were able to call it off early.
“We had beaten Cuckney the previous Saturday and Plumtree in the T20 on the Sunday and were desperate to keep that going, so it was a shame.
“The only saving grace from a selfish point of view is that no one played, so it didn't affect the league in any way.”