NEWTOWN will look to maintain their crown as Powys’ top cricket club in Henshalls Shropshire League One this summer.

Ally Laird remains at the helm with club looking to allrounder Tom Anderson to lead their charge while also welcoming South African batsman Luan Franken who joins from Northerns Goodwood.

Laird said: “After finishing third last year the aim is again to be competing at the top end of the table and to look for promotion this season.

“We have a strong squad and we will look to everybody to contribute throughout the season.”

County Times: Ally Laird, Newtown Cricket

Ally Laird on strike for Newtown.

Meanwhile Alberbury will be led by Lara Jones who will make history as the first female captain of a men’s team in Wales.

The border club have also signed batsman Garrett Houston from Shrewsbury.

Jones said: “It’s an honour to be able to captain the first team and something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m hoping Alberbury can make a big statement and show everyone our true potential.

“We have some excellent talent in the team, so this season is looking very exciting.”

“Mark Jones, Michael Crawshaw and Myles Thomas will offer skill and experience to the team and this will be complemented by the talent of Sam Morris, Ieuan Griffiths and Jordan Zaza.”

County Times:

Lara Jones will make history with Alberbury this summer.

Montgomery remain in the second division under the captaincy of allrounder Andrew Barker with key players Aaron Ruff and Ed Bennett.

Barker said: “The tale of the last campaign was of games either lost or drawn by very close margins or in the final over so we are hoping to convert at least a few of those into wins if we can.”

County Times:

Montgomery captain Andrew Barker.

Welshpool will be in division three this summer while Guilsfield join Bishop’s Castle in division four with the Shropshire side once again targeting survival.

Meanwhile Llanidloes bid to hit the ground running in division five with the club welcoming the return of James Denham from Oswestry and signing of Lennon Brian from Montgomery.

Captain Andrew Jones said: “We aim to win the league but it will be very competitive this year and I think most of the league will fancy their chances.”

County Times: FBC Mandy Bowdler Shropshire League Two: Llanidloes v Beacon...Pic is. Llani fast bowler, James Denham...RD152_2013-2.

James Denham is back at Llanidloes.

Newtown IIs will also be division five alongside Alberbury IIs with the latter led by James Hearle.

Meanwhile Tom Hughes leads Montgomery IIs in division six.

He said: “We aim to continue giving youth the experience of cricket. We struggled partly in the same league last season with very strong teams at the top of the table. We are hoping to give more of a challenge higher up in the league and consolidate this season.