Leaders under pressure
League leaders Ramsey are under pressure in the Standard Bank Premiership. Last Saturday they lost their first match of the season while title contenders Crosby and Valkyres both won. These sides are now just two points behind the top club and each has a game in hand.
So it is vital that the northern team win their next fixture, otherwise the chasing pack could draw level. That game goes ahead on Sunday at King William’s College and is a match fraught with danger for Ollie Webster’s side.
The Ramsey skipper returns from Island Hockey duty and his fans claim his influence will be significant. However in 2011 he had problems against the Town. Webster played against them in four league and cup clashes. He scored a total of 52 runs (average 13) and took five wickets at 16 each. Sunday will be a big challenge for him.
The Town are riding high after a splendid win over Crosby. Their two defeats at the start of the season are now forgotten and on their home pitch they take some beating. But there is a big worry. Last season they played Ramsey in three Premiership and two Cain league fixtures – and they did not win one of them.
Valkyres’ fine win over Cronkbourne has given them new confidence. The batting clicked again with Andy Stokes and Tom Reader making plenty of runs. Then the bowlers performed well to dismiss their opponents for 110.
Now they face champions St John’s in Douglas. The Saints have made a poor start to the year and will be anxious to climb up the table. With a full strength line-up they must be in with a good chance. The excellent Tromode grass track is likely to be soft after all the rain and that spells danger for batsmen. It will also benefit the seamers and Akkie van der Berg will relish such conditions.
Crosby will be hoping to repeat their victory over Ramsey when Cronkbourne come to Marown. They ran up a good score while the bowling and fielding were excellent. Harry Rothwell had a five wicket haul and the Crosby catching, particularly by Dave Picken, was excellent.
Cronkbourne are likely to have Max Stokoe back from England for his first local game of the year. He could be the difference between the two teams. This encounter could be close.
Standard Bank Forrester Division Two
Castletown B v Peel C & Ronaldsway v Union Mills : Games abandoned (rain) – 1 point to each side.
Standard Bank Forrester Division Three
Crosby C 117 for 7 (Chris Hermann 22, Drew Buxton 15 : Tom Salmon 3 -12, Keith Gartland 2 -15); Finch Hill B 118 for 6 (Louis Thornton 53, Ben Bennett 14 : Kieron Cawte 2 -14, Sam Cubbon 1 -16, Sam Bowers 1 -25). Finch Hill won by four wickets.
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