Collegiate face city rivals in tasty opener

The new Solly Sports ECB Yorkshire Premier League season opens in dramatic fashion with the Sheffield clubs going head to head at Abbeydale Park on Saturday.

Both matches last year produced away wins and with several changes being made predicting the outcome is just as difficult.

Matt Dixon will lead Collegiate out for the fifth successive season but this time without his right-hand man Nadeem Khan who has returned to Lahore to run a sports academy set up by his former test playing brother Moin. Nadeem has been leading wicket taker for the past four years and will be a huge loss.

Adelaide-born left-arm seamer Jason Fisher joins the club on the recommendation of Collegiates Yorkshire prospect Joe Root who played for the same club during his winter in Australia.

The old guard of Nick Gaywood, Ed McKenna and Charlie Wall join Dixon to form the backbone of the side and the exciting crop of Abbeydale juniors will battle it out for the remaining slots. Another left-arm seamer, Kieron Dinage who, after a good first seaon, has moved across the city from Sheffield United.

The Bawtry Road team shows several changes from the one that finished bottom of the league for the first time last year. New captain Paul Cummins has led the preseason with enthusiasm and an air of revival is blowing round Tinsley.

Cummins, 26, whose father Bob is still playing and his grandfather, form a long family thread at United going back to 1938,and 89 year old Bill is excited at the prospect of Saturday’s match.

Australian Under-19 batsman Nick Beneke from South Australia is likely to bat at three with Ben Purcival from Woodhall Spa vying for fourth spot with fit again Asrar Qadoos.

Sidney-sider Grant Thornton returns after a three year break, promising Joe Tetley takes the gloves from Jamie Harrison, who has joined Doncaster and everyone at the club is delighted by the return of all-rounder Adam Thorpe after a spell at Rotherham Town.