Maintaining the recovery process is Harborough’s aim

Joe Gordon
Joe Gordon

Market Harborough skipper Joe Gordon maintains his side will have realistic expectations for the season ahead.

After a couple of years of struggles at the club, staying in the Everards Leicestershire & Rutland League Premier Division remains their primary concern.

“It’s a strong league this year and our first expectation has to be to avoid relegation,” he said.

“The big change for us came in 2014 when we lost eight or nine players and we’re still on the recovery from that.

“We’re not helped by losing two bowlers who gave us 60 wickets a season and having four players at university at the moment but we’ve recruited well, certainly in terms of numbers, and are more hopeful.”

They opened their season with an eight-wicket loss to Sileby Town on Saturday – despite setting their hosts 254 to win.

Gordon added: “It’s a small ground and the scores were slightly skewed because of that.

“We also had some new lads – one who’s 17 and another who’s 18.

“It was the first time I’d seen them play on grass so I learned a lot about them and they learned a lot about Premier Division cricket.

“We’re relatively happy with how it went as we had no real expectation against a side we expect to be up there.”

Scotland international Rob Taylor topped scored for Harborough as they made 253-5 with Kevin Innes also contributing an unbeaten 78.

But 98 from Silbey’s Dave Torr set them on their way to a solid victory.

Kibworth began the defence of their title by crusing to a nine-wicket win over Earl Shilton.

Luke Evans took 4-19 as they bowled out their visitors for 190 and then Sundeep Patel (104no) and Petrus van Biljon (52no) saw them home in little more than 30 overs.

Lewis Hill hit 90 for Lutterworth when they beat Syston. Having set 238-6 they then completed a 63-run success with Darren Cader taking 5-33.

Medbourne started their season with an important win in Division 4E against Dunton Bassett.

They batted first and Nigel Clarke (39) and Joe Bell (37) helped them to 138 all out.

Dunton then had no answer to Nathan Hall who returned figures of 6-25 to dismiss them for 112.