A major new signing is set to strengthen Lindum’s challenge for the Readers Lincolnshire ECB Premier League championship which gets under way this weekend.
Lincolnshire all-rounder and former Cleethorpes stalwart Alex Osmond has joined the 2014 runners-up and will take the field for what could be the pick of the opening matches – a clash with champions Bourne at Abbey Lawn.
Lindum will face a tough challenge from their hosts, who are looking to build on the consistency that marked their success in 2014. A settled and more experienced batting line-up will again make Bourne hard to bowl out cheaply and the addition of Martin Shillito from Hartsholme to a bowling attack led by Colin Cheer will give captain Peter Morgan more options.
The foot of 2014’s table also provides an interesting clash as Market Rasen – reprieved from relegation on the last day of the season - meet the team they beat to stay in the top flight.
Grimsby Town are the visitors to Rase Park, having appointed Lee Charlton as their new captain and regained a number of players who left the club in recent years.
Matt Rutherford once again skippers Rasen, whose squad of talented youngsters gained valuable experience last season and are looking forward once again to the challenge of Premier League cricket.
League newcomers Grantham field a familiar face from the past - Rohan Nurse, who was a member of the team in their first spell in the league over 10 years ago, returns to captain a side which also includes former Lindum batsman Karanjit Bansal.
With Mark Fell as coach, Grantham will look to “hit the ground running” when they travel to Skegness where Sean Chamberlain has taken over as skipper. But the seasiders, who finished sixth last year, have made a couple of new signings and should once again have a solid batting line-up.
Two popular Sri Lankans return for a second season – Malinga Bandara to Woodhall Spa and Amila Wettasinghe to Louth while Bracebridge Heath are also expected to introduce a Sri Lankan bowler to their side alongside new signings Andy Scott and Steve Scott from Billingborough.
Louth and Bracebridge meet at London Road while Winkworth Cup winners Woodhall, who have also secured the service of Joe Irving from Alford, are away to Spalding, again skippered by Rob Ambrose.
Market Deeping, with a South African batsman and part-time bowler due to join the side, entertain Sleaford who have record-breaking Kiwi batsman Tim Macintosh returning for his third season.
Fixtures April 18 – noon start
Louth v Bracebridge Heath
Market Rasen v Grimsby Town
Skegness v Grantham
Market Deeping v Sleaford
Bourne v Lindum
Spalding v Woodhall Spa