EVEN a typically British summertime weather forecast won’t dampen spirits in the North Wales League on Saturday.

For it’s the first weekend of competitive action returning after a delay of three months due to the coronavirus crisis.

The forecast means that it could be a frustrating day for many teams, but knowing that there is a chance of cricket being played has lifted spirits.

And what a start there is to Group B as Wrexham rivals Brymbo and Gresford go head-to-head at Tan-y-Fron on Saturday afternoon.

Gresford captain Daniel Williams spoke for the entire North Wales League when he said: “I think the whole cricket community are over the moon to have any cricket being played this season after what’s been a tough time for many.

“Cricket will look a bit different but we’ve had a taster of it Sunday and know what to expect, regards to sanitising etc.”

Gresford warmed up for their trip to Brymbo, who will be led by Dan Parry with captain James Claybrook unavailable, with a 26-run success over Northop Hall on Sunday.

“It was a really good workout for the lads and puts us in good stead for tomorrow,” reflected Williams, whose side are certainly ready for Group B action, the skipper adding: “The lads are chomping at the bit, I had my XI sorted by Monday evening.”

There will be no promotion or relegation this season with teams placed in groups on a geographical basis where possible, but that won’t mean a lack of a competitive edge.

Williams knows there is no such thing as a ‘friendly’ against Brymbo saying: “With the first game back being Brymbo away it adds extra incentive to our preparation.

“We finished above them last season, so when we get over that line we’ll be doing everything we can to keep that ‘best in Wrexham tag’.

“Knowing Brymbo captain James Claybrook and a few more of their lads, they’ll be super competitive on the pitch and wanting to get the better of us also.”

Also in Group B, Pontblyddyn warmed up for their trip to Gwersyllt Park with a midweek T20 clash against Northop Hall, who ran out nine-wicket winners, while Northop have home advantage over Llay Welfare.

Hawarden Park’s trip to Denbigh completes the Group B action, the Flintshire side’s skipper Adam Cross ready for the return.

“It’s so good to be back, a few months back nobody expected to be playing so it’s a nice surprise,” said Cross. “The most important thing that is everyone enjoys this season, but as a club we want to go out and win every game.

“We have been put in a league with Premier Division clubs and we would like to think we can hold our own.

“Playing in this league will hopefully put us in good shape for next season.”

Group E sees the reverse of the first team fixtures with Gresford 2nds hosting Brymbo, Hawarden Park 2nds entertaining Denbigh 2nds, Northop 2nds heading to Llay Welfare 2nds and Pontblyddyn 2nds taking on Gwersyllt Park 2nds.

George Deniz saluted the work done by the powers that be as Mold prepare to start their Group C campaign at Marchwiel and Wrexham.

Mold skipper Deniz, pictured in action above, said: “I think the league have handled the COVID-19 situation very well and have done everything for us to have a smooth transition when we play against Marchwiel.”

And like the rest of the North Wales League, Mold Cricket Club is relishing the chance to get out in the middle this summer.

“It’s a great feeling to be back,” said Deniz. “A lot of work has been done at the club in the last year or so, so everyone is really looking forward to the return of cricket.”

Elsewhere in Group C, there are two all-Flintshire battles as Carmel and District entertain Halkyn, Connah’s Quay host Buckley, while Abergele make their way to Ruthin.

Group F is the reverse of the Group C fixtures for the clubs’ second teams as Buckley 2nds host Connah’s Quay 2nds, Mold 2nds entertain Marchwiel and Wrexham 2nds, Carmel and District 2nds visit Halkyn 2nds and Abergele 2nds take on Ruthin 2nds.

There are some big hitters in Group A as Bangor face St Asaph, Menai Bridge meet Conwy, Llandudno face Bethesda and Mochdre head to Pwllheli, while Mynydd Isa & Maeshafn have drawn the short straw in terms of travelling as they line up in Group D.

The Flintshire side host Llandudno 2nds tomorrow. Elsewhere, Conwy 2nds face Menai Bridge 2nds, Bangor 2nds visit Dolgellau and Mochdre 2nds meet Pwllheli 2nds.