"Must win" for Nationwide House
5:30am Friday 6th June 2014 in By Michael Reeves, Deputy sports editor
NATIONWIDE House captain Russell Arkley has labelled tomorrow’s derby clash with Purton as ‘must-win’.
Although the season is only five games old, Nationwide find themselves sitting at the bottom of the Wiltshire Division yet to taste success.
Last Saturday, Nationwide were bowled out for 178 by league-leaders Great Bedwyn, who then scored the required runs with more than eight overs to spare.
However, they welcome a side who claimed their first win of the campaign against Calne last weekend.
Purton dismissed their visitors for just 108 with Tom Bowler securing figures of 6-25, before his 43 saw Elliot Hill’s men home inside of 20 overs.
“This is a massive game for us,” Arkley said. “It is must-win, but it looks like the weather is going to play havoc once more.”
The inclement weather has also prevented Nationwide from training this week and Arkley feels that his batsmen need more time in the middle.
“Our ground fielding and our bowling has been good,” the Nationwide skipper said. “But we could do with some time in the nets, hitting balls, getting time in the middle.
“We are just eager to get some cricket in and put together a run of games because I think that is what we need.”
Purton skipper Hill knows that last Saturday’s success over Calne will count for little if they don’t follow that up against Nationwide.
And he is all too aware of the threat that their hosts pose despite them not having won this term.
“We know that they have struggled so far this season, but they showed last year against Swindon if they are given the opportunity they can beat you,” Hill said.
“We can’t take them lightly, and given the forecast, the toss is going to be key - much like last Saturday.
“It is important that we build on that win as well.
“We finally made a statement to show what Purton cricket is all about, but that will count for little if we don’t follow that up with another positive result.”
Hill, like Arkley, has been unable to take his side out on to the training field so far this week due to the weather.
Nationwide are expecting to make two changes to the side from last weekend with batsman Nick Clarke available again, however, opener David Coates will miss the match due to unavailability with Mick Harris stepping up from the seconds to fill his shoes.
Purton are only expecting to make one change from the side that beat Calne with strike bowler Aaron Lee unavailable and Hill still deciding who will come in to replace him.