Nairn County captain Mike Davies says the cricket club is building back after the Covid shutdown and is heartened by the young talent coming through.
On Saturday, Nairn make the short trip to face neighbours Forres St Lawrence and these teams are the closest in the NOSCA League to perfect starters Northern Counties, who have three wins from three.
Counties defeated Nairn by 125 runs at the Links last weekend, while Forres St Lawrence won by four wickets at Elgin, meaning it is one win apiece for tomorrow’s local rivals, who have played one match less than the early leaders.
Rebuilding job can bolster fortunes at Nairn
Davies is hoping that more game time this year will lead to improved levels along with the new crop of players continuing to make an impact.
He said: “Potentially, we have a really good squad. The target for this year is to be able to put out a full 11 with strength and develop younger players who are coming through. We have a number of youngsters who have made significant progress.
“We also need to have some more consistency of performance, although a lot of the guys at Nairn are just delighted to be playing cricket again.
“It’s a rebuild, post-Covid, in some ways as we try to establish a bit of stability at the club.”
The skipper admits numbers are challenging for this weekend’s fixture.
He said: “We hope to bounce back from Saturday’s result, but we are struggling a little bit in terms of availability. We’ve plenty of players on the list, but this weekend is going to be a tough ask.
“We hope to be batting more effectively than we did last week.”
Small league doesn’t help with consistency of form
Davies admits Northern Counties and Ross County are the clubs with the real strength in depth, so they would be strongest contenders for the title this term.
A five-club division doesn’t assist in the bid to achieve consistency of results.
He added: “When you are trying to put a run of form together, the numbers in the league now don’t really allow you to play consistent cricket.
“We had our first home game at Nairn last weekend and we won’t be back on the grass there for another few weeks. It’s very difficult in those circumstances to produce consistent performances.”
The senior league takes a break next weekend, returning on July 31 with Forres away to Northern Counties and Nairn hosting Ross County.