Early test for Cougars and Village
Three matches against the same opposition will define both North Village and Devonshire Cougars' seasons early in the campaign, starting this weekend.
The pair are set to lock horns tomorrow in the Dudley Eve Trophy semi-finals at Somerset Cricket Club, followed by a league encounter at Bernard Park in a fortnight and then a Friendship Trophy preliminary match next month.
Such challenges should go a long way in dictating a club's goals for the season, and for champions Cougars it will be the first of a series of tests to see if they are up for their title defences.
For Cougars coach Dennis Brown the chance to beat a title rival is an added bonus but playing in a semi-final is pressure enough.
“This is a very big match for us for a number of reasons, but to play in any semi-final is huge in itself,” said Brown. “They (North Village) have had a good start to the season but Sunday will be who makes the least mistakes and imposes themselves on the match.”
Cougars won the Triple Crown last term but as regards the Dudley Eve they could be out of the running for a second successive time should they fall in the west end.
Brown says he doesn't need to motivate his team any more other than tell the players that they could be out of a competition in which they have had a good run in the past decade.
He was also quick to quash any thoughts about who they may play in the final, stating there were two matches on Sunday to be played before they can focus on the future.
“I know what my team needs to do to be successful in this match but at this stage we cannot think about any final unless we are successful on Sunday.”
The Cougars versus Village match is the second game of a double-header at Somerset Cricket Club, with Dandy Town clashing with PHC in the first match.
Kick-off for the two games is scheduled for 2pm and 4pm respectively.