The County Times' resident cricket pundit Patrick Cudmore on his Pontesbury side's derby at Alberbury

Separated by a mere 15 minutes by car this can be called a derby, but I would not call the fixture a tense, fierce battle.

These are two sides who, for the most part, play the game in the correct way with sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct in full order. This tends to be the case when the teams are well fed, and I have to say I am looking forward to teatime on Saturday.

The teams did meet in a midweek game on Tuesday night in which Pontesbury came out victors thanks to a flamboyant innings from the midweek skipper Matthew Hartshorn.

This was an uncharacteristic innings given his indoor pedigree, but it was great to see him play himself into some nick going into the weekend with some lusty blows, it seems the circuit training has been paying off.

A wardrobe malfunction also meant he competed in his Alberbury CC shirt which was acquired during his small hiatus from Pontesbury a few years ago. No doubt his in-depth knowledge of the opposition will bode well for Pontesbury.

It has been said that no team with Mike Bellamore and Stephen Wilson will be relegated from this league, and this seems to be the case as Pontesbury sit at the top of the Shropshire Division one table.

The “war horse” Wilson has been as consistent as ever and will no doubt cause some problems. He has turned himself into an allrounder in recent weeks following his 46 in a winning cause against Bridgnorth IIs.

Owen Morris, the former skipper, will be slapping on the sunscreen as he tries to protect his pale complexion. He is an underrated batsman who has been very important for Pontesbury and can quickly take the game away from an opposition with explosive batting and good running.

Mark Lewis has grabbed hold of this team and led well. To be honest, he is one of the best glovemen I have ever seen and is a very modest bloke, that is till I asked for a quote for this article to which he replied, “Mid the gap” which will probably infuriate one certain Twitter page.

Alberbury will probably be scrubbing off any knowledge of the midweek contest on Tuesday.

Having started the game with nine players they decided to give the gloves to James Hearle of the Cow Corner Podcast. James is suffering from some sciatic problems and is struggling to reach down, this is not the best problem to have as a keeper.

There was then a change of keeper but a new injury, a quick two was taken and as the keeper went to retrieve the ball as it was flung in from the boundary, he removed his glove in an aim to take a shy at the bowlers end. However, he did not claim the ball in his gloveless hand, and it careered into his face, thankfully the injury was not serious.

Alberbury were beaten by Shrewsbury IIs last week who also inflicted the same punishment on Pontesbury a week prior.

This may be another game to forget as batting, and certainly chasing a total has been difficult in the last month as pitches recover from the flooding. They tend to be a stronger team at home for some reason so it is hard to know what to expect come Saturday.

Sam Morris will be steaming down the hill on Saturday and will extract something from the pitch, he has regularly struck my on the pads in recent years which has become rather frustrating.

He is supported by a number of bowling options, including Matthew Bevan who claimed three wickets last week and no doubt will be taking some confidence into this weekend.

Alberbury's batting has been propped up by Mark Jones who tends to bat long and has carried his bat a few times this season. Jordan Zaza is another threat with the bat and may have not got going this season so Pontesbury will have to be weary that he is due a score.

If the teams are on the same pitch as Tuesday night, I think the ball will be keeping low and could create a very tight contest.

We hope for a great day’s cricket and the weather looks to be good for the day. If you are free and fancy viewing some cricket, I suggest you get down to Pecknall Farm for a lap of the pitch and be sure to avoid the dangerous tree which frames one side of the ground.

A quick mention must go to the cricket dinner at Alberbury CC on July 21 with guest speaker and Ashes hero Matthew Hoggard MBE.

Tickets are £30 and this includes a three-course meal, an auction, live DJ and most importantly a bar.

Get in touch with Alberbury to book your ticket either on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, better yet, visit the ground on Saturday and buy a ticket.