Peel and St John’s should extend their lead at the top of the Isle of Man Cricket Premiership when they play Ramsey on Sunday.
The Saints have won all their league and cup matches this season while Ramsey have yet to record a Premiership victory.
However, it is not all doom and gloom at the northern club. The team are in transition with experienced stars retiring and their places going to younger players.
It will take time for them to make an impact, but the signs are this is already happening. There have been some very good results in the club’s T20 matches including wins over Valkyres and Union Mills.
Shaun Kelly has a batting average of more than 40 and a top score of 98 - on his day he can destroy any attack. There is also solid support available from Rob Webber (57 not out in his last match) and Grant Atchison.
On the other hand Peel and St John’s are in tremendous form. Skipper Ollie Webster has a batting average of 79, Chris Hawke is on 65 and five others average over 30.
Also six of the bowlers are taking wickets at fewer than 10 each. It would be a brave person to bet against the Saints in this fixture.
The season’s big surprise has been the success of the Schools XI. The cream of the island’s youth has been mixed with the guiding hand of a few more experienced players. This is really paying off with the side now second in the Premiership.
On Saturday they go to Castletown who won their last league match.
The return of Jack Newbery from university has strengthened the batting. He is averaging 43 and is boosting the Town’s top order. This game could be close.
Cronkbourne will be hoping to revive their title hopes at home to Crosby. Their defeat by the Saints was a big blow, but there were signs that a credible top spot challenge is still be possible.
Adam Killey returned from a serious football injury to hit 32 runs and turn in an excellent performance behind the stumps.
The Douglas team are still under-strength with people at university. Watch out for fireworks when they come home and skipper Max Stokoe can field his top XI.
Before then, they must try and beat a dangerous Crosby side. Their record of two wins and one defeat shows they cannot be taken lightly.
Danny Kniveton has a batting average of 78 and Joe Rothwell 14 wickets at just under five each. This all spells trouble for Cronkbourne.
CRICKET FIXTURES DIARY
Friday, June 10
Under-11 League (6pm)
Crosby v Colas Finch Hill
Baker Tilly IoM Cronkbourne v Newfield Castletown
Saturday, June 11
Isle of Man Premiership (1pm)
Newfield Castletown v Schools XI
Baker Tilly IoM Cronkbourne v Crosby
Sunday, June 12
Isle of Man Premiership (1pm)
CTH Insurance Ramsey v Shimmin Wilson Peel and St John’s
Monday, June 13
Cain League One (6pm)
Shimmin Wilson Peel and St John’s A v Baker Tilly IoM Cronkbourne Aces
Newfield Castletown A v Crosby A
Cain League Two (6pm)
Colas Finch Hill A v Paddy Power Union Mills A
Valkyres A v CTH Insurance Ramsey A
Tuesday, June 14
Under-13 League (6pm)
CTH Insurance Ramsey v Baker Tilly IoM Cronkbourne
Newfield Castletown v Crosby
Wednesday, June 15
Isle of Man Under-21 v MCC
(at King William’s College)
Forrester League (6pm)
Newfield Castletown B v Baker Tilly IoM Cronkbourne Bacchas
Baker Tilly IoM Cronkbourne Vikings v Cronkbourne Lightning
Shimmin Wilson Peel and St John’s C v Crosby B
Paddy Power Union Mills B v Shimmin Wilson Peel and St John’s B