NEW captain Jon Legg has revealed Dorchester are itching to begin the 2023 Wessex Internet Dorset Premier League season at Christchurch tomorrow (1pm).

Ex-Dorset all-rounder Legg, who takes over from previous skipper Dan Belt this year, has his sights set on club growth after a frustrating third-place finish in 2022.

It came after a hat-trick of Premier League titles and Legg feels the club is in a “good place” to kick on.

Further still, he believes the wet weather in April, hampering many teams’ preparations, will play into Dorchester’s hands at Hurn Bridge.

Legg told Echosport: “Ambitions for the season are to build on what we achieved last season.

READ MORE: Ross Baker named Dorchester head coach

“We’ve pretty much got the same faces so we know what to expect and are ready for any challenges that come at us.

“Ultimately one game of cricket probably cost us last year but we have to move on from that. The club’s in a great place and everyone can’t wait for the season to get going.”

He added: “You never really know what to expect from Christchurch, they have some good players. They’ll come pretty hard at us, I’d expect.

“But with the early-season pitches after the winter we’ve had that may work in our favour.”

Dorchester have recruited strongly in the off-season, signing Kiwi all-rounder Harry Jones as their overseas player and welcoming back all-rounder Josh Richardson for more regular cricket.

Dorchester: Legg, Rajendar, Ryall, Mitchem, Barrett, Belt, Anderson, Nobbs, King, Subramanian, Sathiyannaarayan.

Elsewhere in the Premier tier, Bere Regis are hopeful of improving on an impressive fourth spot in 2022.

Like Dorchester, Brian Keegan’s men have endured a disrupted pre-season and are unsure what to expect from their clash at Broadstone tomorrow (1pm).

Keegan said: “Yes, we’ve netted since February but there’s no substitute for getting on the pitch and getting into a game situation.

“I know some teams have managed to get a game in but we’re roughly in the same position.

“We’re looking forward to it, we’ve been working on a few things tactics-wise and we’ll see if they pay off.”

Bere have made three new signings in batters Theo Talbot and Alexander Rudd plus all-rounder Simon Bailey.

Bere: Russell, Rich Cole, S Goodhew, T Goodhew, Robertson, Murphy, Rogerson, Kennard, Payne, Walbridge, Keegan.

Main sponsor: Booth Gadenne.

First and second XI match ball sponsor: Peter Cheeseman.

Martinstown, meanwhile, are aiming to bounce back after a below-par finish of seventh last season.

Charlie Durant once again takes the captaincy as Town look to make amends in 2023. However, they face a challenging start at reigning champions Poole tomorrow (1pm).

He said: “For the first game of the season we seem pretty strong. It’s going to be a low-scoring game, I’d imagine.

“We can definitely give them a game. It’s all about confidence.

“You can take the best side you can possibly take and you’re going to be lucky to win at Poole Park. It’s nice to get possibly the hardest game of the season out of the way and move on.”

Town will not field any new signings, while Jenson Stewart has switched to Poole with brother Jamie now at Dorchester. Young pacer Ben Fry has left for Beaminster.

Will Maltby (broken finger) and Ed Nichols (unavailable) miss out.

Martinstown: S Gerety, S Williams, House, Lewis, Kane, F Williams, Hill, Coombs, Durant, Rimmer, Trotter.

Relegated to County Division One from the Premier last season, Puddletown are out to gain promotion back to Dorset’s highest level.

Like Dorchester, they boast a new captain as Ryan Norman succeeds Adam Barrett.

They also have a new signing in Charlie Ecclestone, who comes across from ground-share club Plush.

Ahead of their first game at Stalbridge tomorrow (1pm), Norman said: “We’re not at full strength but the core is there and that’s what you need.

“We’re hopeful we can start the season positively. Stalbridge are a good side, I know they’re going through a rebuild. It will be a tough game and a decent challenge.”

Puddletown: Ry Norman, Re Norman, Barrett, Weir, Snow, D Morris, J Morris, Ecclestone, King, Clarke, AN Other.

Among Puddle’s rivals in Division One are Portland Red Triangle, who visit Hamworthy Rec on the opening day tomorrow (1pm).

Triangle have settled side to build from in 2023, with no player movement.

However, batter Chris Theakstone has moved to Australia after a serious ankle injury forced him to switch jobs.

Like other captains, Randell expects sides to be coming in cold this season.

“I think everyone will be a bit undercooked,” he said. “Last year we played Hamworthy and we bowled them out for 57 and then at our place they hit 434.

“We’ll certainly look to get that one out of the way early doors, they are usually weaker at the start of the season.

“We’re not looking too far ahead this year, we’re going to take it game by game and go back to enjoying our cricket more.”

Triangle (from): M Barrett, Laws, Price, Randell, Proffitt, D Adkins, Samuel, Edwards, J Marsh, Potts, R Marsh, Moles.

Finally, Weymouth face a testing opening game at Shaftesbury in Division Two tomorrow (1pm).

The Seasiders have also changed captains, with Lloyd Beals replacing Harry Mitchell.

Weymouth have recruited strongly with ex-Dorset all-rounder Ben Lawes returning and destructive batter Connor Wills joining from now folded Bradford Abbas, along with teenage all-rounder Fletcher Tarry.

Beals said: “We’re eager to get going. I’ve spent the last six months planning this match and the build-up to it and it’s finally here.

“First game is a strange fixture because you have all this time to think about what options you’ll go for.

“Then the games come thick and fast and you have no time at all. Shaftesbury is a tricky hurdle to jump but I sense confidence is high in the camp and I’m hoping to build momentum.”

On the new signings, Beals added: “I’m very satisfied with our recruitment. Getting Ben back is huge.

“Add to that bringing a player of Connor’s talent in as wicketkeeper batter provides our top order with plenty of competition.

“Then Fletcher boosts the all-rounder department with quality leg-spin. We’re now a squad of athletic men at a good age that want to win something.

“It’s no secret we feel we can challenge this year. We will set ourselves out to win every game.”

Weymouth: England, Beals, B Lawes, Tarry, Webb, Wills, J Sapsworth, Guyett, Mitchell, Urumancheri, Hoyes.

Matchday sponsor: Active Mobility

Player sponsor: Advoco Accountants

Ground renovation sponsor: GRBS