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Holders Western Stars put Central Counties title on line against Devonshire Rec

Temiko Wilson has been named by Western Stars for today’s Central counties second-round clash with challengers and hosts Devonshire Rec (File photograph)

Western Stars will rest their title on the line when they face challengers and hosts Devonshire in the second round of the Central Counties at Devonshire Recreation Club today at 11am.

Stars secured their first win of the season against Devonshire in the First Division 50 Overs League at the same venue last Sunday and will now look to repeat the dose and secure their spot in the final against Evening League side North Village on June 25.

“Any game against Devonshire is a rivalry and is very historical with both clubs steeped in Central Counties history,” Jekon Edness, the Stars coach, told The Royal Gazette.

“We have had two good days of training this week and are going into the game very confident but wary of Devonshire’s challenge.”

Edness has been forced to make at least one change to his squad that thumped Evening League side Tuff Dogs by eight wickets in the opening round last Saturday.

Former club player Temiko Wilson has replaced fellow guest player Alje Richardson, who has been ruled out through injury.

“Temiko will come in for Alje who played the first round,” Edness said. “Alje has a slight little niggle, so he is going to sit this round out in preparation for the longer season.”

Wilson got the season off to a flying start after hammering a century for club side St George’s in the Premier Division win over Willow Cuts last month.

“Temiko, being a former player for Western Stars and now a Cup Match player, brings a lot of experience to the team,” Edness said. “He is coming off a hundred two innings ago, so hopefully he is in some fairly decent nick that he can carry into Saturday.”

Edness does not believe Stars can rest on their laurels after the most recent win over Devonshire. “That was our first victory in the league but Central Counties is a different ballgame because whatever guest players they choose will obviously lift their level,” he said.

“We can’t be overconfident and definitely just have to go out there and do what we have to do as a team.”

Challengers Devonshire have bolstered their squad with the additions of guest players Allan Douglas Jr, of St George’s, and Regino Smith, of Flatts — both all-rounders.

“Allan is most definitely an asset and brings experience and his ability to score fast runs,” Rudell Pitcher, the Devonshire player-coach, said. “Regino also scores fast runs. He is a pretty straight bat and he can also keep wicket.”

Pitcher is confident his team can wrestle the cup away from holders Stars.

“I feel on the day we are going to be victorious,” he said. “We are going to bring the cup back to Devonshire Rec.

“We have been training and putting in a lot of work, and the team has shown a big improvement overall.

“It should be a good game and is going to be a high-scoring match.”

Domestic league action continues tomorrow with the fifth round of the Premier Division and First Division 50-overs leagues.

Somerset will host Premier Division rivals Bailey’s Bay at Somerset Cricket Club, while Southampton Rangers will do battle with Willow Cuts at Southampton Oval and St George’s against St David’s in the remaining top-flight matches.

First Division match ups will see PHC hosting Warwick at PHC Field, Flatts taking on Cleveland at Lord’s and Devonshire facing Somerset Bridge at Devonshire Recreation Club.

All matches begin at 11am.

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Published June 11, 2022 at 8:00 am (Updated June 10, 2022 at 5:23 pm)

Holders Western Stars put Central Counties title on line against Devonshire Rec

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