Northants coach Ripley hoping to end County Ground stint with another win

David Ripley admits his final home game in charge of Northants will be an emotional one.

Saturday, 11th September 2021, 6:01 pm
Northants head coach David Ripley takes charge of his final home game this week

But he is not expecting the reality of his decision to step down as head coach to really hit home until the last ball of the summer is bowled in final match of the campaign at Essex.

The 54-year-old revealed his decision to retire from the top job at the club's AGM last Monday, having already informed the players and staff on Sunday, prior to the first day's play of the LV= Insurance County Championship clash with Surrey.

The news sparked a flurry of tributes from so many people connected with Northants and beyond, and Ripley admits he has been humbled by the amount of messages, calls and kind words he has received.

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The team responded to the news by beating Surrey by two wickets, and Ripley is now hoping they can repeat the trick in his final home game against Durham which starts on Sunday morning (10.30am).

He would love to end his Wantage Road stint with another win and the chance to join in with the team song in the changing rooms.

He accepts this match is going to throw up some emotional moments, but says it is the final game of the season at Chelmsford that is going to the real tough one.

"I didn't feel over emotional at the AGM, but I know I have been emotional when I bump into former players," said Ripley.

"I think this game will be emotional, but it will be about how we play our cricket and it's all about the players that are in that dressing room.

"It will be the last game, when it is totally put to bed, it will be 'that's it, it's done'.

"I imagine that I will be blubbering away at the end of that game trying to say something!"

Ripley now just wants his team to end what he feels has been a good red-ball summer on a high with a fifth win of the campaign against Durham.

Northants have beaten Sussex twice, Glamorgan and Surrey in four-day cricket this summer.

Ripley is happy with how the Championship team has played, felt they deserved the win over Surrey last week, and that with a little bit of luck, the season could have been even better.

"It was a great result against Surrey, and a great game of four-day cricket," said the head coach

"I have said many times this year that our red-ball cricket has been good.

"We have won four games this year, played some excellent stuff, and had some bad luck as well.

"You turn that Yorkshire game around where we lost by one run, and in the Gloucestershire game last week we were so unfortunate with the cards we were dealt through that game.

"We just needed one small amount of that to sway our way and we would have won that one as well, so that's two more wins on the board, two fewer defeats.

"So I think we have played some good red ball cricket and I am proud of that."