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Cricket: Huntly bolstered by new recruits while Aberdeenshire target title

Huntly captain Jack Mitchell
Huntly captain Jack Mitchell is upbeat about their hopes for this season.

Jack Mitchell hopes Huntly’s new recruits can help them challenge for the North-East Championship title.

Cricket returns tomorrow for the summer and the Castle Park side face Gordonians at Countesswells in their first match.

Huntly have added Inverness-based opening bowler Irtaza Hussain and Australian batters, twins Samuel and Nick Cuconits to their squad.

After last season’s sixth-place finish captain Mitchell is aiming higher. Hussain and Samuel Cuconits could make their Huntly debuts against Gordonians, while Nick is set to arrive from Adelaide next week.

Mitchell said: “Irtaza will bring extra pace to our attack and we’ve struggled in the last couple of seasons with our batting.

“So the target with Sam and Nick coming in is to get a bit of extra strength in our batting line-up.

“Their experience and skills can help the club all-round, they come from Australia which is a major cricketing nation and it’s a different ball game over there.

“It will be good to get their input at training as well as on matchdays.

“We’re targeting the top of the table, we’ve got players and a squad that is more than capable of competing for the league.

“I always like to set high targets for the season to give the players something to aim for.”

Gordonians finished third last term and Mayank Bhandari’s charges will be hoping for another strong campaign.

Shire look for title charge

Elsewhere, Aberdeenshire start their season against Kinloch at Mannofield.

Skipper Kenny Reid is targeting the title and promotion back to the Eastern Premier Division.

He said: “The aim this year has to be the title. The younger boys are another year older and more experienced.

“They have been told the expectancy is that we should be looking to win the league and then hopefully the play-off to return to the Eastern Premier.

Aberdeenshire Kenny Reid holding a cricket bat over his shoulders.
Promotion is the target for Aberdeenshire captain Kenny Reid.

“There will be tough, close games and in those big matches we can’t be relying on two or three guys.

“Everyone has to step up and the onus is on everyone to take more responsibility. It has to be a real team effort.

“We know what our aim is but there is a long way to go and a lot of hard work ahead of us if we are to achieve our goal.”

Meanwhile, Stoneywood-Dyce 2nds make the trip to Forfar to tackle Strathmore.

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