Crucial games for town

Skipper Rob Ambrose with new signings Campbell Light and Warren Nel.
Skipper Rob Ambrose with new signings Campbell Light and Warren Nel.
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Spalding Cricket Club captain Rob Ambrose has targeted the next two matches as vital as his team attempts to establish itself in the Lincs ECB Premier League.

Town lost their first two games but bounced back with a great victory against eight-times champs Bracebridge Heath before seeing Saturday’s match at leaders Louth abandoned.

Now they entertain fourth-from-bottom Haxey this Saturday before a trip to second-bottom Lindum the following weekend.

“Haxey actually won the league last year, but that was really as a result of them getting most matches played in a summer hit badly by awful weather,” Ambrose told the Guardian yesterday.

“They have struggled a bit this year – but no matches in this league are easy,” added the skipper, who will lose Ian Smith for Saturday’s game at Spalding Grammar School (12.30pm)but welcome back Charlie Kearns.

“We have got some games coming up against teams that are around us and these are the ones we have to be looking to win.

“It would be nice to pick up points against the likes of Skegness and Woodhall Spa, but they are not the teams we are targeting.”

Ambrose admitted survival and consolidation was the target this season, after being promoted from the South Lincs and Border League last year.

“If we can stay up then we can look to improve next year and move on. We would love to finish mid-table, but survival is our aim.”

The jump from playing the second strings of teams like Bourne, Skegness, Woodhall Spa, Sleaford and Lindum to playing their first teams was a massive one he admitted, but one his team is capable of making.

“We have got the players but they have to believe they can make the huge step. We need to get their minds right, to show them they have enough to play at this level and do well.”

He was very aware that the best players in the team this season have been their overseas all-rounders – Zimbabwean Campbell Light and South African Warren Nel.

“Take away the runs and wickets from those guys and we have been a bit lacking,” he said.

“Charlie Kearns has bowled very well without a lot of luck, but we all need to step up a bit more. If we don’t, other teams will start to target the rest of the team.”