Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Nick Fired Up for Battle at Top

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Nick Fired Up for Battle at Top

Article excerpt

Byline: Cricket Preview

Norton opening batsman Nick Beall is relishing the prospect of facing top of the table Chester-le-Street at Station Road tomorrow.

He feels that the Foster's North East Premier League leaders have the best opening attack in the league.

"Weather permitting it's a challenge I'm looking forward to," he said. "We lost narrowly to them early in the season, and openers Ian Jones and Ian Hunter are the best I have faced.

"They have played at county level, and are quick and bowl nothing loose, so you have to work for every run.

"But it's challenges like this that make me want to play in this league."

Nick, who returned to the club this season, is pleased with his form, especially his century against Stockton in front of a Bank Holiday crowd at the end of May.

He has a batting average of just over 40, which is better than he expected after returning from Peterlee in the Durham Coast League.

"I'm facing better bowlers now, but on better wickets.

"Skipper Marc Symington told me at the start of the season that he wanted me to see off the new ball, and not worry about how quickly I scored."

And Nick feels that the team can do much better in the remainder of this season and in future years.

He said: "I feel that we have played better than our league position (fourth from bottom) suggests.

"We have won two and lost only three, and not been hammered. It's a fine line sometimes, and we're just missing a bit of spark.

"We have talented players and are a solid team but don't have an overseas professional, and our contracted Durham player Mark Davies has not played for us at all.

"But it will give us a massive lift if we win tomorrow. We tell ourselves we can beat the good teams, but we have to prove we can.

"Winning is a habit. The team has struggled for a couple of years, and perhaps because of that, we get nervous when we get close to winning.

"We need to develop the mentality that enables us to grasp chances to win.

"With Stephen Riddell and Keith Hewson arriving with me this season, we are still bedding in as a team, and will do much better in future. …

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