Top three in Premiership gunning for maximum points

Crosby's Harry Rothwell clubs away a Cronkbourne delivery during Saturday's Tinker Cup semi-final

Crosby's Harry Rothwell clubs away a Cronkbourne delivery during Saturday's Tinker Cup semi-final

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The tension will be high on Saturday in the Isle of Man Premiership as only four points separate the top three sides.

For each team a full 20 points from the weekend’s games is essential to maintain their title challenge.

Leaders Cronkbourne have to fight a local derby at Tromode against Valkyres who are bottom of the table.

However, the supporters of the latter claim this placing gives a false impression as their side has been dogged by bad luck and injuries.

Nevertheless it is difficult to see anything other than a Cronkbourne victory.

Champions Peel and St John’s have a tricky fixture down at Castletown.

The Saints’ confidence is sky high after last week’s Tinker Cup demolition of Ramsey.

Their aggressive batsmen will welcome the hard grass track and fast outfield at King William’s College.

On the other hand Town are a difficult side to beat and are just behind the three leaders in the table.

A win for Castletown will put them up among the title contenders and such an outcome should spur the side on. Expect a high-scoring match.

In the other game Crosby travel north to Ramsey.

Both sides suffered Cup defeats and will be anxious to put that disappointment behind them.

The batting on both sides looks much stronger than the bowling and again plenty of runs should be on offer.

BLINCOE CUP SEMI-FINAL LINE-UP CONFIRMED

Ramsey battled their way through to the semi-finals of the Blincoe Cup when they defeated Castletown on Monday.

The northerners join holders Crosby, the Schools’ XI and Peel and St John’s in the last four of the competition after the victory.

Town batted first and were dismissed for 110.

Simon McKeown held the innings together with a fighting 33 from 32 balls.

He took the total to 68 before being caught by Tom Howard from the bowling of Dom Howard.

Steve Epplestone was the only other batsman to reach double figures with a solid 13 from 25 deliveries.

Dom Howard and Dan Kelly both took two wickets while Tom Moffatt, Rob Webber, Andy Ball and Chris Wade claimed one each.

In reply Ramsey got away to a good start with Ball making 13 and Tom Howard 23.

Dan Kelly then struck an exciting 35 off only 15 balls before falling to spinner Dave Griffiths.

Webber then took the team to victory with 21 not out.

Jeff Butler’s two overs cost only eight runs, but Ramsey’s run chase lasted just over 10 overs.

The draw for the semi-finals sees Peel and St John’s face Ramsey and Crosby up against the Schools’ XI.

The games take place on Sunday, July 12 with two innings per side and an 11am start.

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