BERE Regis captain Rich Cole has his “hopes up high” ahead of a Dorset Funeral Plan Premier League derby with Martinstown at Bere Regis Rec tomorrow (1pm).

With the hosts seventh and Martinstown ninth, the fixture is crucial as the duo seek to pull away from bottom side Stalbridge in the sole relegation spot.

Bere, who are without a win since June 1, are a full 41 points ahead of the basement boys, while Martinstown are precariously placed 18 points above the drop zone.

Bere will go into the game as favourites after bundling Martinstown out for 98 in a six-wicket victory back in May.

Speaking to Echosport, Cole said: “We want to put safety to one side as a result of this game. By beating Martinstown we can look forward to the rest of the season and enjoy cricket rather than look over our shoulders.

“Martinstown didn’t really come to the races when we were at theirs and we know they’ve got so much more potential.

“They’ve got a team that can have better performances but they haven’t been executing it. We’ve got our hopes up high. We’ve had better results away than home so we need to work something out at home.”

Garry King makes way for Rob Cole in Bere’s only change.

Meanwhile, Martinstown captain Sam Kershaw said: “It’ll be a hard-fought game, every point counts at the minute.

“It’s a game where a lot rides on it.

“If we win it puts us a good leap ahead of Stalbridge, depending on their result, and we’d catch up with Bere.”

Kershaw also stated his desire to take “ammunition” from May’s home defeat to Bere.

He said: “We didn’t do ourselves justice in that game, hopefully it won’t happen again.

“We’ll take a bit of ammunition from that and try and push on, get the win and hopefully do one over on them at their place like they did to us.”

On the threat of Stalbridge behind, Kershaw added: “They’re not a side to be underestimated. They’ve got some good players and can pull out a result against one of the top teams and be right up with us again.”

Martinstown make four switches to the side that lost to Poole last time out as Tom Pope, Mike Kennedy-Barnard, Jacob Coombs and Chris Read come in for Will Maltby, Jamie Stewart, Matt Camp and Charlie Durant.

Kershaw said: “We’ve made a few changes with a few unavailabilities and a few fresh faces to try and get a bit of team cohesion together on the pitch.”

Bere: M King, Payne, Murphy, Lambert, Griffiths, Goodhew, Rich Cole, Rob Cole, Brown, Keegan, Walbridge

Martinstown: Nichols, Williams, Kershaw, Chase, T Pope, Hill, Kane, Kennedy-Barnard, McNab, Coombs, Read


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