DORCHESTER Cricket Club will start their Dorset Premier League title defence away to Martinstown as they look to retain their 2019 crown.

The Dorset Cricket Board has revealed the Dorset Funeral Plan Cricket League fixture list for the upcoming seasons in the Premier League and the six county divisions.

Encouragingly, there is an increase of four teams this year. However, this has created its own problems in terms of compiling the fixture list, with only one division now having a 'bye' each week and 25 instances of teams doubling up on the same pitch.

Dorchester won the county’s top competition last year for the first time since 2008, winning six of their last seven to pip Poole Town CC to the title.

The county town side had finished in the top four places in each of the previous three seasons but finally sealed top spot last year.

Jack Owens with the bat and the retiring Dan Belt with the ball were the stand-out performers for the club in that golden season.

This year's inaugural games are scheduled for Saturday, May 2 as Dorchester travel to Martinstown. Their last game of the Premier League season will be at home to Wimborne & Colehill on Saturday, August 29.

Wimborne & Colehill were winners of the DACO Fair Play award in last season's Premier League.

In Division One, Weymouth start off their campaign with a trip to Marnhull while Portland host Stalbridge.

In what promises to be a great occasion for the fans of both sides, Weymouth and Portland will face each other in a crunch derby game on the final day of the season.

Weymouth and Portland finished fourth and third respectively in 2019 and the neighbouring sides are likely to be closely matched once again.

Newly-promoted Division One side Beaminster will kick of their 2020 season by hosting Hamworthy Recreation and will finish with a home tie against Compton House.

Beaminster finished as runners-up in Division Two last year and will be hoping to acclimatise quickly to the step up.

Dorchester 2nds will host Blandford in their first game in Division Two after last season's promotion, finishing the year away to Broadstone 2nds.

Portland 2nds will face Wareham on the first day and will finish against Bere Regis 2nds in Division Four.

Weymouth 2nds kick off Division Five against Puddletown 2nds and host Marnhull 2nds on the final day.