MARCH Town skipper Chris Ringham will be looking to beat Cambs League Premier Division newcomers Ickwell in the opening fixture of the season at The Avenue on Saturday.
Ringham has a strong squad of players at his disposal this season and it will be disappointing if they are not battling for the title.
Ringham said: “It is important we get the season off to a good start and meeting the league newcomers gives us a good chance.
“Matt Wilcox has settled in again very quickly and Tom Howgego is already showing good form with the bat and ball.
“Cambridge University players Rob Wooley and Jivan Lotay are available and Shardul Brahmbhatt will be back too so we should be at full strength.”
March lost out in their first Rutland League game of the season by two runs against Stamford on Sunday.
Stamford scored 185 with Howgego 3-23 and Callum Young 3-29.
Wilcox 35 and Howgego 29 got the March reply off to a good start and Stuart Mills made a valuable contribution of 29 later on.
But March needed 13 off the last over and then four off the last ball but could manage a two.
Ringham added: “We let them get 25 runs too many with a poor six-over spell of loose bowling and poor fielding.”
March lost their friendly against Norfolk Premier League champions Downham Town by 36 runs on Saturday.
Downham batted first and reached 210 for eight despite some very good bowling from Howgego who took five for 32.
Bowling the final over of 45 before tea, the right-arm seamer hit the stumps with his fourth and fifth deliveries and then had wicket-keeper John Gilson’s pads to thank for the hat-trick, as the ball ricochet on to the wickets for a leg-side stumping.
Matty Vail led the March reply and his 69 runs included a dozen boundaries, three of which were sixes. He figured in a third wicket stand of 65 runs with Wilcox, who made 41.
Of the rest only Rob Tombs (21) and skipper Ringham (11 no) made double figures in the all-out total of 174 with four batsmen including the run-out Howgego failing to score.
March seconds also lost out by 56 runs in a friendly against Wisbech seconds at Harecroft Road.
March’s 15-year-old Toby Nulty produced a good performance with both bat and ball and picked up the prized scalp of Cambridgeshire all-rounder James Williams, who was caught for three, during his impressive 3-17 spell and then made a useful 18 at number eight.
Wisbech started their innings in a hurry hitting 122 for two off the first 25 overs.
They then went on to make 165-8 with Dom Stannard 44 and Matt Esser 37 the top scorers, March thirds skipper Matt Hubbard again performing well with a two for nine spell.
March’s batsmen found it hard going and were bowled out for just 109, of which Wisbech contributed 31 wides!