Title contenders go head-to-head

Castletown's Gayan Dissanayake attempts to fend off another Ramsey           delivery in the northerners' eight-wicket  Premiership win at the Grammer School on Saturday

Castletown's Gayan Dissanayake attempts to fend off another Ramsey delivery in the northerners' eight-wicket Premiership win at the Grammer School on Saturday

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Reigning champions Ramsey play Cronkbourne in the big match in the Standard Bank Premiership on Saturday.

Last year Ramsey just pipped the Douglas club to the title on run rate. Both teams won their opening games of the new season meaning a grand battle is in prospect.

Cronkbourne did well to overhaul a Valkyres’ total of 186 on Saturday, but they suffered at the hands of spinner Andy Coulson. He took five of their wickets and the batsmen will now have to face another tweaker in Shaun Kelly.

Word from the north is that Chris McConnell might be back to lead the attack, so the Tromode team will come under a great deal of pressure. This has the makings of an excellent match.

Crosby and Valkyres both lost last week and will be keen to get some points on the board.

They meet at Marown where the home side will be looking to rediscover their ruthless streak.

They had Peel and St John’s in trouble at 140 for 6, but could not finish off their tail. That left them facing 217 for victory, but a solid start saw them in contention at 37 for 0 after 10 overs. Chris Hawke then took three quick wickets and the innings ended well short on 129.

Crosby will find little respite from a Valkyres’ side which plays aggressive cricket. Tom Reader looks in good form and Ben Bennett is a batsman who could make a big impact.

Their bowlers could be stretched though if the Kniveton brothers and Jack Rowlands get going. A high-scoring encounter is on the cards and should provide plenty of entertainment for spectators.

On Sunday the top four sides from the 2012 Standard Bank Cain League meet in a delayed President’s Day.

Last year this favourite event was washed out by rain, but all the teams were keen to have another go.

The venue is Mullen-e-Cloie with proceedings starting at 10am when Cronkbourne take on Castletown in the first semi-final.

At 1pm it is Ramsey v Peel and the final is down for 4.15pm.

CRICKET FIXTURES DIARY

Saturday, May 4

Standard Bank Premiership (1pm)

Nedbank Private Wealth Crosby v Valkyres

Ramsey v Baker Tilley IOM Cronkbourne

Sunday, May 5

President’s Day

(at Mullen-e-Cloie)

Baker Tilley IoM Cronkbourne v Celton Manx Castletown (10am)

Ramsey v Peel (1pm)

Final at 4.15pm

Under-14 League (10am)

Nedbank Private Wealth Crosby v Celton Manx Castletown

Ramsey v Baker Tilley IOM Cronkbourne

Monday, May 6

Standard Bank Forrester Two (6.30pm)

Grasshoppers v Celton Manx Castletown C

Tuesday, May 7

Standard Bank Cain League (6.30pm)

Valkyres A v Celton Manx Castletown A

Nedbank Private Wealth Crosby A v Baker Tilley IOM Cronkbourne A

Peel and St John’s A v Ramsey A

Wednesday, May 8

Standard Bank Forrester One (6.30pm)

Nedbank Private Wealth Crosby B v Best Group Finch Hill A

Peel and St John’s B v Paddy Power Union Mills

Ramsey B v Celton Manx Castletown B

Baker Tilley IOM Cronkbourne B v Ronaldsway

Standard Bank Forrester Two (6.30pm)

Valkyres B v Peel and St John’s C

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