TITLE rivals Martinstown and Dorchester meet at the Rec tomorrow (1pm) in a contest that will have a big say on which club is promoted to Premier One next season.
League leaders Martinstown currently hold a seven-point lead at the top of the pile which is set to be extended without a ball being bowled, due to Dorchester fielding an ineligible player last weekend.
But having lost to Sherborne last time out, Martinstown skipper Ed Nicholls is confident that his side, who have been the surprise package in Premier Two this term in topping the table, can do the business tomorrow.
He told Echosport: “We are still playing really good cricket, we bowled really well last weekend and there are a couple of batsmen coming into the side so it will be good to just shore that up a bit if they make scores, which should keep us in the game.
“The top order has done well this year with the bat and if we can just dig in and keep out Dorchester’s new ball bowlers it gives us a chance to build through the middle.”
Nicholls’ troops defeated Dan Belt’s men just two weeks ago at Lower Ashton Farm, which gives the skipper confidence, but going into the away fixture should prove to be a tougher test.
“There are a lot of the same faces in from that day,” Nicholls added.
“I expect Dorchester may have a couple back and the pitch will probably play a bit different down at the Rec from ours.
“At the start of the year, we just wanted to get in the top four to play the better sides in the last few weeks so we are a long way ahead of schedule.”
Commenting on the clash and the expected penalty against his side, Dorchester skipper Belt added: “With us winning last week and them losing, it’s brought us closer together again. It’s a huge game and a game that we want to get as many points out of as possible.
“I didn’t know about the two game rule for players in the last six games, so I think it may be a five-point deduction.”
* Dorchester are holding their annual cricket week, next week, starting with the Dorset disabled side playing Somerset on Sunday, followed by Derbyshire tourists Robincroft visiting the county town on Tuesday in an all-day affair.
A Sean Fitzgerald XI will take on Dorchester in a T20 fixture on Wednesday evening, as well a West Dorset XI on Thursday in another all-day game.
Thursday is the annual Phil Mesney memorial match and former players, supporters, friends, sponsors and vice-presidents will be in attendance for lunch.
Anyone connected to the club in any capacity who would like to attend will be more than welcome, contact Simon Joslin on 262850 to reserve a space.