Chris Dobbie
Chris Dobbie

Captain Chris Dobbie is expecting a tough season for Balderton after their arranged overseas player backed out of the deal.

Pakistani cricketer Aqib Ahmed has instead decided to join a club in Yorkshire.

Balderton’s bowling line up has been further stretched as Luke Endley has decided to stay in Australia.

However, ahead of the South Notts League Division A campaign, Dobbie is optimistic that their younger players can shine through this season.

“There is a big hole to fill but I try to be positive and see this as a great opportunity for maybe a youngster to step up and make a name for themselves,” he said.

“Connor Tansley made great progress last season along with Scott Barnsdale in his debut season with the club.

“Matthew Smart and George Parr are impressing in the indoor nets and showing great signs of potential.”

Dobbie is hoping for a strong start to the season to counter the potentially tough campaign.

“Realistically, we are in for a tough campaign but if we can getsome early positive results it will build some confidence in and around the club.


“We want to be playing for each other and enjoy our cricket. I predict a similar season to last year with no one running away with the league.”

Balderton finished mid-table in last season’s campaign, and start the season on April 29 at recently relegated Attenborough.

Skipper Harry Atkinson was pleased with Newark R&M’s focus on fielding ahead of the new campaign.

The team will play in Division E of the South Notts League after halting a run of successive relegations.

Robin Curtis and Joe Smith, from Farndon, and Richard Andrews, from Southwell, have joined the team.

Atkinson said: “Everything has been going very well in the lead-up to the season. 

“We have been working hard on our fielding, which is something we haven’t usually got round to it until our first match.

“Our first team is shaping up. There is more competition for places this season and everyone is looking forward to getting started.”

R&M secured a mid-table finish last season, and Atkinson is looking for the team to push for a promotion to Division D this time around.

“We have the squad in place and the spirit at the club is very good at the moment. I think we have to go for promotion,” he said.

“I cannot see any reason why we can’t push for promotion. It would be a disappointing season for us if we didn’t.”

Newark play an inter-club friendly at the weekend before a pre-season match the following week against West Bridgford.

Opening bowler Mark Everington is optimistic about Farndon’s chances ahead of the new season.

They were moved up to Division C in the South Notts League during the winter break, despite finishing outside the promotion spots last year.

Everington said training had been well attended and they had largely kept the same nucleus of the team together.

“We have had a few players come in during winter, and one or two have left, I think mainly because they did not want to play at the higher level.

“We were unfortunate not to be promoted automatically last year. It was the rain that played a big part in the end and so this season we should be able to compete well within the division.”

Daniel Hubbard will captain the squad for a second season.

Their pre-season has taken the form of Newark Evening League cricket fixtures ahead of their first league match on May 6 at home to Caythorpe 2nds.

Captain Joe Fryer is expecting Southwell to respond well to promotion when they begin their South Notts League Division B season.

After missing out on promotion during last year’s campaign, they were one of a handful of teams awarded promotion in the close season.

“There has been a buzz around the club at the moment. We are hoping to see some strong performances next season,” Fryer said.

“We have had a few new players come in to strengthen things and are looking forward to a good season.

“It has been a structured pre-season with some good sessions so we have every reason to be positive.”

One of the players returning is John Richardson, who last played with the club when they were in the Premier Division.

They are playing an inter-club friendly on April 29 to help them prepare for their first fixture.

The captain of Collingham says they should be targeting promotion for the forthcoming season.

Harry Sheppard believes they can go for glory in Division A of the South Notts League after finishing runners-up last year.

“As a club, our time is now to push forward. We are good enough at the moment to get promoted and go up to the Notts Premier League,” he said.

“The squad is a bit more experienced than last year and we have every chance of pushing forward.”

The club have made a few acquisitions over the close season. The overseas signing is Pakistani batsman Fahad Ul-Haq.

They tried to secure the services of last season’s influential player Atif Zaidi, but he could not get the appropriate visa.

Another new signing is Lee Faz-ackerley, who played for Bottesford.

Sheppard said there were good signs around the club in the pre-season.

“We have been winter netting indoors and it has been going well. There has been a good turnout to the sessions and we should be strong,” he said.

“Everyone here is pretty excited ahead of the season and we’re positive about doing well.

A friendly match will be held on Saturday at home against Gedling and Sherwood, followed by a second friendly the following week against Wollaton.

Bingham will be looking to continue their meteoric rise when they make their debut in Division D.

They finished runners-up in Division E last year to secure a fifth successive promotion in the South Notts League system.

Their first pre-season match will take place away at Caythorpe 4ths on Saturday.

RHP will make their debut in Division L after forming ahead of the new season.

They will feature some players who have previously played for Newark R&M and will play their home matches at Winthorpe.

Their first match of the season will be at home against Chilwell 2nds on April 29.