Retaining the Premier League title could be hard for Waringstown but the team is ready to prove that their title win wasn’t a fluke. Captain Greg Thompson suggested that his squad is powerful enough to retain the Robinson Services Premier League Trophy at The Lawn.
As the new NCU season starts tomorrow, he said, “We will be trying to replicate last year’s success and while nobody is under any illusion that it will be an easy task, we will work hard throughout the year and see where we end up.” In order to be able to keep their trophy, they will have to win at least four of the six competitions. If they did this again, they would enter the history books as well.
Thompson said that a “happy dressing room” was one of the reasons for the success of this young team.
“James Mitchell and Marcus McClean broke into the 1st XI and did very well and with James McCollum and Adam Dennison, still young but now established players who scored big runs, there is no reason why we can’t do it again,” says the skipper. However, Morgan Topping, David Dawson and Jonny Wite have all moved on from the team.
He also said, “They are all good enough to play 1st XI cricket but I couldn’t guarantee them that at Waringstown and I wish them all the best.” The team also has to think about Matthew Purse who is the new face at The Lawn. However, he said that he will be getting his opportunity later. He will not be making his debut against Carrickfergus in the opening match tomorrow.
The Villagers had lost two of their first three matches in the last season. Moving on to the fourth match, they were against Muckamore before they scrambled home by two runs. This was the turning point of their campaign after which they were able to turn the game around. They lost only two more games in this season. This time, Thompson believes that Belmont Club, North Down and CIYMS will be their closest rivals this season.
The leading wicket-taker for CI Matt McGillivray will be back for the second season this year. James Cameron-Dow, will also be returning to the team this season. North Down is also a stronger team this season. Ryan Haire is also returning this season. After flirting with Muchkamore this season, the under-estimated bowling of this player as he could be making a lot of gains for his team this season.
The teams will be meeting the Green tomorrow, creating the most interesting match of the day. Thompson said a lot more for this season. He said, “Carrick have dangerous players. Pat Botha is back as professional and Dan Poulton impressed last year.”
It will be interesting to watch how the team performs this season. If they are really able to hold on to this championship, they will be rewriting history in their favor. If not, then last year’s runners up will be ready to take the crown away.