Brangman: too early to write off title hopes
Ricky Brangman, the Southampton Rangers coach, believes it is way too early to write off his team's Logic Premier Division title hopes.
The defending champions are off to a disappointing start, losing their opening two league matches against Bailey's Bay and newly promoted Western Stars, as well as being stripped of their Belco Cup title after a 232-run thrashing at the hands of St David's in the semi-final.
Rangers finally stopped the bleeding with an emphatic 188-run win over Cleveland County at Southampton Oval on Sunday to mark the return of Brangman from illness, Janeiro Tucker from suspension, while Kwame Tucker and Alex Dore also returned to the side.
Having regained some confidence, Brangman has urged his players to build upon their victory and has warned his team's critics not to rule them out of the title race.
“All we need is two more wins and we can be right back up there,” Brangman, a former Rangers captain, said.
“It's not a tall order and there is still a lot of cricket left because we have to play every team three times this season.
“We just have to take charge of ourselves and that's what we are doing now. We have some of our players back, so we are getting serious now.”
Whether Rangers' revival holds substance will be put to the test on Sunday, when they travel to Lord's to face St David's.
Rangers have unfinished business with the unbeaten league leaders, who hammered them in the Belco Cup.
“We have a big game coming up against St David's and it's going to be a good battle,” Brangman said.
Brangman was encouraged by his team's batting display against Cleveland, with Tucker leading the way with 84 runs.
However, he said Rangers will have to improve on their fielding after dropping far too many catches, something they can ill afford to do against a powerful St David's line-up boasting Dion Stovell, the former Rangers all-rounder.
“We put down a few catches which we will definitely have to address,” Brangman said.
“But that's where training comes in, and on Tuesday and Thursday we will be working hard so that we can have a good game against St David's.”