BERE Regis captain Rich Cole is embracing the challenge posed by arch-rivals Dorchester ahead of their Dorset Funeral Plan Premier League clash at Bere Regis Rec tomorrow (1pm).

The two sides are set for a hotly-contested derby with Bere possessing several former Dorchester players – but Cole emphasised the respect he has for the league leaders’ quality.

He told Echosport: “It’s the fact that we play against these guys in the Dorchester Evening League. Knowing they’re a good outfit means that we know we’re going to get a really good challenge.

“They’re one of the better teams in the league and you know you’re going to get tested on the day. We just need to make sure that we’re well-prepared and up for it on the day.

“After a really good win last week (against Poole) hopefully we’ve got a bit of momentum going into the game.

“We know the pitch very well, what it will do after tea and how best to use the facilities. Do I think Dorchester know that as well? Yeah, they probably do.

“I don’t think there’s necessarily too much of an advantage in being at home, if anything, it’s just the fact that they get the option to bowl first which gives them the advantage, should the weather be indifferent.”

Meanwhile, Dorchester captain James Dunham downplayed the Bere rivalry and is focused on securing a fifth win from six games.

He said: “(The former Bere players) haven’t played for Dorchester for quite a few years now.

“We play against a lot of them on the Evening League circuit, they’re a good side that play together regularly and have for quite a few years.

“They’re quite a tight-knit bunch and it’s a challenge we’re looking forward to.

“We’ve had great results and as much as Bere are coming off a great win last week, so are we – Christchurch are a good side.

“It was a very emotionally-draining victory but one that spirits are still high on.

“The club’s in a good place at the moment and we’re looking forward to getting a few wins under our belt now with the start we’ve had this season.”

Bere welcome back skipper Cole and brother Rob at the expense of Sam Goodhew and paceman Crispin Brown.

Meanwhile, Dorchester seamer Rob Nobbs is replaced by all-rounder Will McKay, who makes his first appearance for the county town side this season.

Bere’s second team visit Wimborne Fourths in County Division Five, while Dorchester Seconds host Sturminster and Hinton in County Division Three (both 1.30pm).

Bere: M King, White, Murphy, Rogerson, Payne, Rich Cole, Rob Cole, T Goodhew, Woodhouse, Keegan, Walbridge.

Dorchester: Ryall, Roe, Mitchem, Anderson, Belt, McKay, Peak, J Barrett, Richardson, Dunham, Walklett.


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