LOCAL bragging rights will be at stake at the Rec tomorrow when Dorchester and Weymouth lock horns in the Dorset Premier League (1pm).
The county town outfit have finished comfortably above the Seasiders in the past four seasons but this year their dominance is under threat.
Weymouth, who won the first meeting between the two this summer back in June, currently sit 19 points above their rivals with just three games remaining.
But with home advantage, Dorchester will fancy their chances of closing that gap this weekend.
County town skipper Martyn Richards said: “Although we lost to Parley last weekend, it was a big step in the right direction.
“To bowl a team of their quality out for 206 was a great effort and hopefully we can replicate that tomorrow.
“If we can then we will have a great chance of winning the game. However, we do still need to improve our batting.
“Hopefully someone will put their hand up and compile a big innings as we have the players who can bat around them.
“Last week has certainly given us a lot of confidence ahead of the derby game, which, for the first time since 2004, we are going into as underdogs.
“We will approach it like any other game but it will have an added edge given it’s a derby.”
Two enforced changes see James Lewis and Aaron Oliver come in for unavailable duo Will Caldwell and Phil Morley.
Wicketkeeper Sean Fitzgerald turns 50 next week and will be looking to celebrate the occasion with victory over his former side.
Despite the Seasiders’ superior league position, they go into the derby under a cloud following last Saturday’s shock home defeat at the hands of 10-man Winton, who continue to prop up the table.
That setback came off the back of a fine victory over high-flying Wimborne & Colehill and skipper Dean Janaway is now hoping for an instant return to form.
He said: “Last Saturday was obviously very disappointing but we now have to forget about that and pick ourselves up straight away, and there is no better game in which to try and do that than a local derby.”
Due to unavailabilities and injuries, the Seasiders were a bowler light against Winton and paid the price but this weekend sees Ben Lawes and Dan Hutchens both return for Rob Nobbs and Tim Guyett. Matt Lawes misses out again due to an elbow injury.
Dorchester: Belt, Dunham, Evans, Fitzgerald, Goodhew, Legg, Lewis, Moxom, Oliver, Richards, Sibley.
Weymouth: Ryall, White, B Lawes, Payne, Womble, Janaway, England, McKay, Whyte, Trotter, Hutchens.
* Relegated Weymouth Seconds entertain Christchurch in Division Two (2pm).
Weymouth Seconds: Monk, Gordon, J Armfield, Jarvis, Pearce, Tucker, C Armfield, Batchelor, Puckett, Sers, Mitchell.
* Dorchester will be hosting their annual Cricket Week next week.
The county town club will play a host of matches during the week, starting with Tuesday’s visit of Derbyshire-based Robinscroft (11am).
Winterslow, near Salisbury, are the opposition on Wednesday (11am), an all-star XI, titled the Best of the West, take to the Rec on Thursday (1pm) before the Doug Read Memorial Match takes place on Friday evening (6pm).