COULD North Wales’ top cricket championship be heading for Denbighshire?
St Asaph and Denbigh are well in the mix to potentially lift the North Wales Cricket League Premier Division title this season.
The Saints sit third in the standings, one place and six points better off than the Ystrad Road outfit.
Denbigh could throw the division wide open this weekend as they play host to Bangor, who lead the way in the table.
“I am hoping we can push the top-two of Bangor and Menai Bridge,” said Denbigh captain Stuart Griffiths
“There’s no reason why we can’t.
“Saturday is a big game.
“They have got Francois (Mostert), who is a good bowler and batsman, but we were really unlucky at their place.
“A couple of debatable decisions went against us.
“But we are in good form going into the game and it’s at our place.”
Denbigh have been in fine form at their Ystrad Road ground this season and they should fear nobody when they have home advantage.
Looking ahead to the possibility of a title push, Griffiths added: “I think we need to win at least six games.
“We really need to win on Saturday.
“We are about 30 points behind Bangor, but this will go down to 15 and possibly 12.
“If you had said to me at the start of the year that we would be pushing for the top-four this season, I would have been happy with that.
“We have got quite a young squad.
“We are strong with batting and bowling this year.
“Our top four of Jackson (Braddock-Pajo), Gerallt (Lyall), Harrison (Jones) and Tom (Schrimshaw) have all scored more than 350 runs.
“Jackson is leading the league with around 690.”
Griffiths has been hugely impressed with the bowling displays from the likes of Jack Griffiths, Harrison Jones and Andy Clarke.
St Asaph are also hoping to strengthen their position towards the end of the standings as they play host to Brymbo on Saturday.
“Brymbo are a strong side and they have got a good youth policy,” said club chairman Gareth Ryan.
“They have always done it on their own and they’re a good club with a good committee.
“They have some very good young players in Ben Roberts, Greg King, Daniel Parry and James Claybrook, and we know we have a tough game on Saturday.
“At the beginning of the season, mine and (captain) William (Ryan’s) aim was to consolidate and stay in the Premier Division.”
However, St Asaph find themselves in third spot in the standings and Ryan says the team is consistently playing good cricket.
“If Denbigh beat Bangor, it’s really in the melting pot and we will take each game as it comes,” he added.
“You can have a great win one week and lose easily the next week.
“We are trying to consolidate and the club is looking very progressively to kick on next season.
“We are top of the scoring for the best wicket in North Wales and we have some of the best facilities in North Wales.”
Ryan added: “It’s been a good season.
“It didn’t start off too well, although we won our first game, we then lost to Denbigh, Brymbo and Menai Bridge.
“But over the last two months, we have gone from strength to strength.
“The first five weeks was a bit tough because of player availability due to football.
“We are still quite a young side and most of the key players are under 24 and have come through the juniors.
“A season is a long time in cricket, but the lads we have got here are the lads that went down two seasons ago.
“Our lads didn’t even think of moving anywhere else.
“We have got some good youngsters coming through from the juniors and we have got to keep going.
“Our future is only as good as how our juniors are.”