DORSET begin their NCCA Trophy campaign against Cheshire as Dorchester Rec hosts the county’s opening match tomorrow (11am).

Last season, Dorset topped their group only to go out at the quarter-final stage when the prolific Berkshire chased a whopping 297 to win.

This campaign, Dorchester are hoping to get Dorset off to a flying start and have a good record with the county winning all their matches at the Rec during the tenure of chairman Mark Derrien.

And the Dorchester chief is once again thrilled to welcome National Counties cricket to the county town, with another crowd of around 500 expected.

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He told Echosport: “We love Dorset coming to the Rec, they come once a year and it’s a real chance for us to showcase what we think is the best club ground in Dorset.

“It’s looking lovely, because although it’s rained way too much it does mean the grass is green and it looks beautiful. We’ve all worked really hard so I’m looking forward to them coming.”

The unusually wet Spring has been a challenge for groundsman Jim Ryall to contend with, not least after a deluge on Monday left the Rec square waterlogged.

“We are apprehensive,” Derrien admitted. “We had a thunderstorm that waterlogged it. The covers are brilliant but with that volume of rain, it just went underneath.

“Since then, it’s been set fair. We’ve also been looking at the Dorset scores and everywhere is really struggling.

“Wimborne, who I think are an excellent club with excellent management, they’ve hosted two county T20s and there 90 and 110, those sorts of scores.

“Everywhere is struggling to get high-scoring games on, so we’re hopeful. It’s going to be a challenge, but the lower-scoring games are equally interesting.

“We’ll get a good game on, that’s for sure.”

Derrien added: “The standard’s awesome, everyone who plays is either county second XI now or will be in the near future. Many of them go on to first-team careers.

“We’re really pleased that Dorset trust us and they’ve always won. I like to think it’s a bit of a stronghold.

“It’s the best turnout, more people are at Dorchester for National Counties than I’ve ever been to.

“We regularly get 500 down there and I’m hoping that local support encourages the players.”

The clubhouse bar will be open throughout, while a pizza van is in operation from 1-5pm. Spectators are advised to bring their own seating. There is free car parking at the ground.

Dorset (from): Breckon, Burton, A Eckland, J Eckland, Gordon, Pattemore, Scott, Smith, Tripcony, Varney, Webb, Woodruff.