DORCHESTER captain James Dunham has backed the reigning champions to keep the winning train rolling ahead of a visit to winless Cattistock & Symene tomorrow (1pm).

Dunham’s men lead the Dorset Funeral Plan Premier League by 16 points from Martinstown in second following successive victories.

And with games against the Foxes this weekend and then fellow strugglers Christchurch before a bye weekend, Dunham is targeting a strong finish to the first half of the campaign.

Speaking to Echosport, he said: “I said to the boys when we lost to Bere Regis that when we won the league in 2019, we lost the second game of the season.

“From there, we went eight unbeaten after that. It’s important getting momentum into the second half of the season by winning the next two games.

READ MORE: Dorchester beat Sherborne to extend lead

“It would be nice to go into the second half with only losing one game.”

Dorchester make two changes as James Caldwell and Dan Morris (both unavailable) drop out, with Josh Richardson and Brandon King their replacements.

Dorchester: Ryall, Legg, Anderson, Mitchem, Owens, Belt, Richardson, Barrett, Roe, Dunham, King.

*Dorchester Seconds host struggling Corfe Mullen in County Division Two tomorrow (1.30pm).

Dorset Echo:

Elsewhere, division rivals Martinstown host Wimborne & Colehill at Lower Ashton Farm tomorrow (1pm).

Will Maltby, 17, will lead the side through skipper Sam Kershaw’s unavailability.

And Kershaw said his team is “ready to right some wrongs” following defeats to Dorchester and Poole.

He said: “The guys have definitely felt the impact of the two losses and really want to get back to winning ways.

“They’ve been two quite disappointing losses in the manner that we’ve lost them.

“We showed good fight last week to get (Poole) eight down, so hopefully we can combine it all together and go well this Saturday.

“Training has gone well this week, so we’re ready to right some wrongs.”

Martinstown: S Williams, Gerety, W Maltby, G Pope, T Pope, White, Wylie, Andrews, Je Stewart, Trotter, Durant

*Martinstown Seconds visit second-placed Chalke Valley in County Division Three tomorrow (1.30pm).

Dorset Echo: Will Maltby, right, will skipper Martinstown aged just 17 Picture: GRAHAM HUNTWill Maltby, right, will skipper Martinstown aged just 17 Picture: GRAHAM HUNT

Bere Regis have a bye weekend but return to action at Broadstone on Saturday, June 19.

Meanwhile, County Division One leaders Puddletown will be looking to keep the momentum going tomorrow (1.30pm) when they face a tricky away fixture against Marnhull.

Puddle captain Adam Barrett, who has skippered his side to five wins in six games, admitted he knows very little about his opponents.

“I don’t think I have ever played against Marnhull before so to be honest I am not quite sure what to expect,” he said.

“Historically they have done well in this division so as always we will go into the game expecting a tough contest and try to play the best cricket we can.”

Puddletown make one change from the side that thrashed Hamworthy last weekend as Steve Chaldecott comes in to replace Mike Hoffmann.

Puddletown: C Chaldecott, Snow, Mitchell, Barrett, Weir, Eastment, Ry Norman, Re Norman, S Chaldecott, D Morris, J Morris.

*Puddle’s second string visit Dorchester Thirds in County Division Five North & West tomorrow (1.30pm).

Dorset Echo:

Also in Division One, Portland Red Triangle are in action at fourth-placed Hamworthy looking to close the 15-point gap between the sides.

Matt Randell’s men beat Beaminster by four wickets last time out but the Triangle skipper respects the quality Rec possess in their armoury.

He said: “I like to think we go into every game thinking we’re going to win, but we certainly know this is going to be a tough test.

“Looking at some of their results, they’ve had some really good results. Against Compton House they scored 309 and bowled them out convincingly.

“Then they’ve also had results where they’ve been bowled out and haven’t looked as good.

“So, anyone can beat anyone in this league. I’d say we’re quite confident going into it but we know they’re going to be a really good side.”

Portland welcome back Chris Theakstone (ankle) but Tim Forshaw (hamstring) could play for the seconds.

Rich Samuel and Ryan Price miss out due to work commitments, but Rob Townley comes in.

Portland: D Adkins, Randell, Price, Laws, Theakstone, M Barrett, J Adkins, S Barrett, Edwards, Cameron, J Marsh.

*Portland’s second team are in action at home to Bere Regis Seconds in County Division Four.

Dorset Echo: Chris Theakstone, left, comes back for Portland Picture: GRAHAM HUNTChris Theakstone, left, comes back for Portland Picture: GRAHAM HUNT

Finally, Weymouth tomorrow (1.30pm) face a trip to promoted side Witchampton, who have impressed so far to occupy second place in Division One.

The Seasiders are aiming to build on their five-wicket victory against Swanage last time out.

But captain Harry Mitchell has exercised caution ahead of facing the Witches.

He said: “It’s an unknown test again, a bit like last weekend.

“Playing there previously it’s quite low and slow and looking at results there early season it’s been low-scoring.

“We’re going to need to bat well and with the ball in hand put it in good areas – let the pitch do the talking.

“They’re going to be especially strong at home this season, they’ve got a lot of experience and some of their younger lads are starting to step up.

“It’s going to be a tight game.”

Shafeek Urumancheri, Kieron Womble and Jonny Armfield return for Weymouth, with Tom England, John Wilson and Sami Rathnayake missing out.

Weymouth match ball sponsors: Advoco Accountants

Dorset Trade Skills man of the match vs Swanage: Harry Mitchell

*Weymouth Seconds host Bradford Abbas at Redlands in County Division Five North & West tomorrow (1.30pm).

*Abbotsbury host Sherborne Seconds in County Division Three tomorrow (1.30pm).


t: 01305 830999

e: neil.walton

twitter: @EchoSportNeil