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Rec ready for big weekend

Unavailable: Douglas will miss his side's play-off match at Sea Breeze Oval (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Dennis Williams has promised Devonshire Rec will not be intimidated by favourites Willow Cuts when the two teams battle in today’s Premier Division play-off match at Sea Breeze Oval.

Williams, the Rec manager, was at Somerset Cricket Club last weekend to watch Cuts beat Flatts in a crucial relegation match, with a spot in the play-off against the runners-up in the First Division the reward for the winners.

And despite missing key batsman Chris Douglas who has departed for school in Cardiff, Williams says his team will still be strong.

“I think we’ve got a good chance, it’s really going to come down to which ever team’s players perform on the day,” he said. “I don’t see anything in their squad or our squad to suggest we can’t win the game.

“Chris [Douglas] was a big part of our batting, now it’s up to the others to step up. Guys want to be recognised as good cricketers, now they can step up and prove it.”

Cuts have called on their experienced players Dexter Basden and Kevin Fubler to help stave off relegation and that experience could make the difference against Devonshire Rec, a former powerhouse in local cricket.

“Dexter’s a seasoned campaigner but his last few knocks haven’t been that good if you look at the stats,” Williams said. “But because he’s got the ability he could step up on the day. I don’t look at their team as being overly superior just because they’ve been in the Premier Division.

“They have good players, we have good players and whoever is ready to perform, that’s who is going to win. We’re definitely not in awe of their team.”

Rec will end their season with two big matches, the play-off encounter today and the Twenty20 final tomorrow against Western Stars, who have already secured promotion back to the top flight. Stars have beaten Rec in league and Central County matches this season on their way to near perfect season.

“That’s [Twenty20] going to be a difficult one for us, and I think it’s kind of unfair for us that we play that one coming off the play-off match on the Saturday,” Williams said. “Playing a 50-over match and then to turn around first thing Sunday morning to play a Twenty20 match, that’s going to be hard on us.

“What happens on the Saturday is going to determine what happens on Sunday, but we’ll be there to compete at our best. I’m glad that one is first because to play the Twenty20 on the Saturday and the play-off on Sunday would have been harder for us.”

Willow Cuts, meanwhile, will be without batsman Deunte Darrell who left this week for school in England and Dwight Basden, the Willow Cuts captain, said his side were not taking anything for granted.

“Our guys are upbeat about it [the game], we want to take the challenge to them, we’re the Premier Division team,” he said. “But, we’re not taking Rec for granted in any shape or form.”