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Thursday, 21st August 2014

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Local Rivalries: Welbeck and Cuckney

With another Season of Premier league cricket in Nottinghamshire complete, Martyn Dobson and Adam Burgess look back on how the season went for their respective clubs Welbeck and Cuckney.

If any keen follower of the cricket in Nottinghamshire wanted proof of how important Premier League is to its players, look no further than Martyn Dobson (of Welbeck) and Adam Burgess (of Cuckney). Their Trent Bridge office desks are separated by merely a few metres, their home grounds amongst the closest to each other in Premier League terms, yet the ‘friendly banter’ that was flying around the office covered up a real sense of competitiveness that lies inside these two cricketers.  
 
For the local rivalry between Welbeck and Cuckney was emphasised through Martyn’s joy at reliving what he claimed to be the highlight of Welbeck’s Premier league season.
   
“For Welbeck the highlight of the year was beating Cuckney at their place. It was something that I was very happy to see happen!”

‘A picture tells a thousand words’ is a somewhat overused phrase, yet the wry smile of Adam’s face at this point said it all.

An impressive third place finish in the Premier league, for the second year running, is something that Cuckney can certainly be proud of however, finishing well above their rivals Welbeck who finished five places below them.

“We were far too inconsistent,” Martyn adds. “We didn’t perform as well as we should have done. Perhaps some of the better players weren’t as good as they could have been.”

For Cuckney the highlight of 2010 was undoubtedly winning the T20 competition, an event that saw its semi-finals held at Trent Bridge in August. “It was great playing on such a superb ground, it was an exciting experience.”

Indeed, performers such as Will Butler, and Richard Stroh both had outstanding years.

“Cuckney can definitely go further. If players like Richard Stroh (who scored over a thousand Premier league runs this year) and Will Butler keep performing as they did in 2010, add a couple of new faces over the winter and we can move up the table.”

“We’re a young team, with the average age only 24, and I think the future is looking good for the club.”
   
Whilst the players have their differences when it comes to allegiances to their separate teams, both were in agreement on the superb standard of the league, and shared praise for Clifton.

“Clifton were the standout team” according to Adam. “Having won the league two years in a row now, they are looking strong. Danny Birch (who scored 1068 runs at an average of 59 in the Premier league this year) deserves a mention; he performed extremely well though the whole season.”

“The whole league is of a very high standard,” Martyn believes. “Even the poorer sides are capable of an upset on their day, though the gulf between the top and the bottom is not as big as it used to be. Personally I think the league is as strong as it has ever been.”

“Welbeck’s last ball victory over Wollaton earlier in the season showed how tight the league is, and we had a few really close, exciting games.”

Adam also saw ex-England cricketer Alex Tudor’s presence in the league for West Indian Cavaliers as a positive for the league. “He took nearly 40 wickets, and to have someone of his quality and experience is only a good thing for the league. Especially for the youngsters in the Notts Cricket Board side.”

Through these two club cricketers it is evident that cricket in Notts is stronger than ever, and sporting rivalries really do run deep.

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