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Cuts clash with Rangers in Counties opener

Cup holders Willow Cuts will face Belco Cup champs Southampton Rangers in the opening round of the 2013 Western Counties series.

The two teams were pitted against each other during Wednesday’s draw at Warwick Workman’s Club and will clash on July 6 at White Hill Field which is hosting the series for the first time in several years.

Cuts assistant coach and veteran batsman Dexter Basden believes the cup holders can overcome the challenge but admits his team’s task won’t be easy against the might of powerhouses Rangers.

“Rangers are one of the biggest threats to our title, but we’re looking forward to the challenge and will be up for it,” he said. “I think being drawn with Rangers in the first round is a big boost for the Western Counties because it’s two top class teams playing against each other.”

Like his opposite number, Rangers coach Ricky Brangman is up for the big game.

“I think it’s a good draw and we will be ready for the first round,” he said.

The eventual winners will face series hosts Somerset Bridge Recreation Club in the second round to be played on July 13. PHC have been drawn in the third round to be played on August 10 while Warwick Workman’s Club were drawn in the final round to be staged on August 24.

Meanwhile, Rangers and Cuts will be looking to gain a psychological advantage ahead of next month’s counties clash when they lock horns in the league at Southampton Oval on Sunday.

“It’s going to be a very interesting game on Sunday,” Brangman said. “Willow Cuts are one of the strongest teams in the league.”

Former Somerset Cup Match skipper Basden believes former Rangers player Malachi Jones holds they key to Cuts’ hopes for success.

“When Malachi produces well against Rangers they can’t touch us but when he falls short they always get the edge on us,” he said. “Malachi is a home grown Rangers player who I think holds the key for us.”

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Published June 07, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 06, 2013 at 11:22 pm)

Cuts clash with Rangers in Counties opener

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