RIVALRY could be the key to getting Oulton Park back into winning ways following a handful of defeats.
Although the league title may have disappeared into the distance, there is still a big rivalry to spur Park on.
Skipper Nathan Dumelow said: “There’s always something riding on the matches with Bowdon – I don’t know where the rivalry came from.
“It’s an opportunity to try to get back to winning ways, and we want to be in the top three. No-one will catch Alderley Edge now.”
After a second loss to Boughton Hall, in the Twenty20 Trophy, Dumelow is clear nothing has changed.
He said: “It was never going to carry on forever. We have a lot younger side – the average age is 23.
“I don’t think it’s knocked the players. Obviously we were disappointed but we’re going to try to start it again.”
Meanwhile, Chester Boughton Hall are riding a wave after destroying Toft by 10 wickets and claiming Oulton Park’s scalp to win the quarter final of the Twenty20 Trophy.
With the table fairly tight, they can prove themselves this weekend against third-placed Nantwich.
Captain Steve Ogilby said: “I think we’re in very good form. I’m looking forward to playing Nantwich. Last time we gave them a run for their money. I’m quietly confident.
“Oulton Park are a very strong team. It shows we’re capable of beating the big teams.”
In Division One, Christleton have an availability nightmare with nine first teamers out including six regulars.
Only skipper Paul Allen, Scott Graves, Matt Parkinson, Iroshan and Surresh De Silva are available with the rest away with holidays, university commitments, work, weddings, travelling and a funeral.
Allen said: “You name it, my team’s doing it.
“We’ve got four or five players coming in next year – we’ll be a force.”
They face Cheadle and Allen added: “The players coming in are more than capable of getting runs and taking wickets. If we win the toss I’m looking to get at least 14 points.”
Division Two’s Tattenhall are second after a 59-run win against Marple. They next travel to second-from-bottom Hale Barns.