Posted: 4 weeks ago

Big Challenge Ahead For The M1s

(Above) A new Thursday night tradition – team and significant milestone announcements in the bar after training – love it!

1stXI Skipper Peter ‘Daisy’ Davison

Everywhere you read any sort of preview for the NCU Premier League season ahead, the theme is the same – teams have strengthened and the league is stronger. Of course its easy to say that and make yourself and the competition you’re playing in seem great, but there is no doubt there are some very good players in the PL and we’re going to have to raise our game to be up there competing.

Skipper Peter Davison has a year’s experience behind him now and is in bullish mood. “I’m really looking forward to getting the season up and running. The squad have trained hard over the last couple of months and are keen to get going. Bret (Mulder, Director of Cricket) has provided us with a fresh and more focused approach with our training and the benefits of this should show on the pitch.”

Director of Cricket, Bret Mulder

The collapse of the signing of Dian Forrester as overseas player has been tempered somewhat with the arrival of Kerwin Mungroo, but the big strike bowler will have to make the most of his 10 overs every week to offset the loss of Forrester’s all-round game. It places a huge degree of importance of Ally Shields and Ani Chore to provide the bulk of the runs, in fairness something they have delivered in the last couple of years, with James Shannon’s return to the local game still something of an unknown quantity.

It will be fascinating to see how ‘Daisy’ and Bret see things in the batting line-up because they will need to maximise the output from game one; and the one notable absentee from Saturday’s lineup is veteran Ryan Haire, whose experience will be invaluable when working with the younger players making their way on the 2ndXI, but in equal measure will be a large presence to fill in the top flight.

Davison continued, “I think we’ve recruited really well over the winter and have brought in a number of quality players. We have a nice balance of youth and experience. Liam Hayman and Stevie Saul have both impressed so far and should make significant contributions. James (Shannon) is a top quality player and I’m sure will be a real asset with the bat.  

Add our overseas pro Kerwin (Mungroo) alongside Ally and Ani Chore and we’ve got a really strong side. I’ve also been really impressed by a number of young players so far this off-season. Josh Corbett and Jacob McClure-Dalzell in particular have performed really well and will provide a bit of variety to our bowling attack. Tom Crothers has another big season ahead and hopefully he’ll be able to kick on with both bat and ball with a full year of Premier League experience now behind him.”

The skipper is understandably upbeat and if it all falls into place we will no doubt see an exciting brand of cricket at The Green with a much changed line-up likely to take to the field for the season opener against CIYMS at The Green on Saturday (12 noon). With the big-spending visitors keen to regain their Premier League crown it will be a massive test for the new-look North Down side.

We’ll leave the final word to the affable Davison, “All in all, I think we have a really strong squad and I’m excited to see what we can achieve this year.”

And so say all of us, good luck guys!

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