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Newmarket Cricket Club looking upwards after string of positive performances

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There is still plenty of hard work ahead, but Newmarket Cricket Club are now looking upwards after racking up back-to-back wins.

The Stampede struggled initially following their promotion to Whiting & Partners Division One, with their early-season form seeing them prop up the other nine teams in the league.

However, a run of three wins from five outings – including two on the bounce – has moved captain Mark Nunn’s team out of the relegation zone ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Histon (1pm).

Newmarket CC have moved out of the relegation zone. Picture: Mark Westley
Newmarket CC have moved out of the relegation zone. Picture: Mark Westley

Nunn said: “It was a slow start and not what we had hoped for at all.

“I think for some it took a while to realise the standard required to be competitive at this level – there are no easy games.

“But collectively I cannot complain about the performances in the last five games. We’ve won three and been in winning positions in the other two – if we’d won both of those with 30 points we’d be second.

“It’s about fine margins in sport the higher up you go. I said to the players it doesn’t matter how you win, just find a way to get over the line and we’ve started to do that.

“It’s always much nicer to be looking up the table rather than down. Nobody is getting carried away, but there is more belief and confidence about us than there was a few weeks ago.”

This weekend’s meeting with Histon provides Newmarket with the perfect chance to extend the gap between themselves and the bottom two.

The visitors, who are currently second from bottom, are eight points adrift of seventh-placed Newmarket.

“It’s early in the season but it’s a huge game at the same time,” added Nunn. “Histon were right at the top last season so they’re obviously a good side, it’s just for whatever reason it’s not quite happened for them yet this season.

“We’ll have to be at our best on the day and if we are able to get the win that puts more daylight to the bottom two – then we can really start looking up.”

As well as the upturn in performances and results, Nunn’s optimism has been further enhanced by the arrival of Crystian Thurton as the club’s overseas player for the remainder of the season.

Having struggled for runs as a team during the opening few weeks of the campaign, the decision was taken to recruit from abroad, and the former West Indies Under-19 international has made a good early impression.

He scored 38 runs from just 29 balls on debut during last weekend’s six-wicket win over Stamford Town and has also impressed for the midweek and Sunday sides.

“He only arrived last week but we can see he’s very talented already,” said Nunn. “We felt we’ve been a batter light at times and every other side has an overseas professional.

“It makes a big difference because these are high-level players that provide consistency.

“He’s also a young lad which helps to bring the average age of a side down a little as well, which is something I’ve been keen to do.”

* This year’s Twenty20 match between Newmarket CC and Newmarket Racing XI will take place at The Severals on Sunday, July 10 (12pm).

It will be the second time the sides have met after the previous fixture in 2021, which was deemed a success.

As well as the cricket, the club is planning on having food and drink stalls, a silent auction and entertainment for children.

The chosen charity for the day is Racing Welfare.