Why Northampton is a sporting town to be so proud of...

The Steelbacks were backed by a bumper crowd at the County Ground last Friday

The Steelbacks were backed by a bumper crowd at the County Ground last Friday

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Sitting at the sun-soaked County Ground last Friday night, it was easy to feel fortunate.

Fortunate to be among more than 6,500 people revelling in another NatWest T20 Blast win for Northants.

Saints won the Aviva Premiership in 2014 and are consistently challenging for the title

Saints won the Aviva Premiership in 2014 and are consistently challenging for the title

Fortunate to be part of an atmosphere that displayed just how much this team means to those that turn out to watch them.

Fortunate to watch sport in a place that has three major teams, all of whom get the pulse racing in one way or another.

Northampton is a unique town.

One which possesses a professional cricket club, a top-flight rugby team and a Football League side.

Cobblers are a team on the up under the stewardship of Chris Wilder

Cobblers are a team on the up under the stewardship of Chris Wilder

In their own ways, Northants, Saints and Cobblers bring entertainment and pride to the town.

Last Friday, Cobblers boss Chris Wilder and Saints chairman Tony Hewitt were at the County Ground to watch the Steelbacks secure a seventh T20 win in nine games.

Each club gets behind their neighbours, desperate for the town’s passion for sport to be rewarded in the form of trophies.

As with any neighbours, familiarity can breed contempt and occasionally fans of our major sports clubs can get at each other from time to time.

But the fair-minded among them, those staunch Northamptonians, will want every team from the town to do well.

When the Steelbacks won the T20 against all odds in 2013, the town rejoiced.

When Cobblers reached the play-off final in the same year, thousands of Northamptonians went to Wembley to try to push their team to promotion.

And when Saints won the Premiership in 2014, the town turned out in force to celebrate their triumph on a memorable afternoon in the Market Square.

Yes, we should feel lucky to be part of this town.

This fantastically sport hungry town.

There is never a dull moment, either.

To feel the highest of highs you have to sample the lowest of lows.

And each of our teams have had their times of despair, especially during the past decade.

Having tasted success two years ago, Northants followed up their T20 success with a season in the doldrums in 2014.

But now they are back, putting things right and pushing for a place in the quarter-finals of the 20-over tournament, while thrilling the assembled throng in the process.

Saints were relegated in 2007 only to come back strong under the stewardship of Jim Mallinder, who finally earned them Premiership glory seven years into his reign.

And Cobblers have had more ups and downs than the most nerve-shredding rollercoaster, with Wilder’s men now seemingly on the up after surviving relegation in 2014.

Whatever the weather, there is always something to talk about.

Takeovers, transfers, stadium transformation - Northampton is a town full of teams with enthralling tales to tell.

And what those clubs mean to those involved is not lost on the men that manage them.

Steelbacks head coach David Ripley, Cobblers boss Wilder and Saints director of rugby Mallinder all hail from Yorkshire, a county renowned for its love of sport.

But each man feels the palpable passion of Northampton and its sports fans.

Ripley said: “It’s not a big town so the sports teams are all quite closely linked and we look out for each other.

“I don’t think I’ve seen our ground as full as it was on Friday and it’s good for the players, the club and the town.”

Wilder added: “Northampton is a unique town with professional cricket, football and rugby and all teams are very well supported.

“As a club we support the teams representing Northampton in all sports and we’re desperate for all to do well.

“We had a great night at the cricket on Friday and I know some of our lads have been to watch the Saints as well.”

And Mallinder said: “Northampton is passionate about all its sports teams.

“We saw at Twickenham and in the town last year just what it meant to bring home the big prizes.”

There are plenty of chances for our trio of teams to do that again in the coming months and seasons as all look in good shape right now.

And how satisfying it is to be able to write that.