ANDREW SUTTON is hoping his Barnt Green side rise to the challenge this weekend when they entertain last season’s Birmingham League Premier Division champions Berkswell.
The Cherry Hill Road side are boosted by the returns of Ed Pollock and Ben Lad-Gibbon from university for Saturday’s clash.
Opening batsman Tom Banton and Warwickshire bowler Joshua Poysden are also to return to face a Berkswell side filled with the likes of former England ace Darren Maddy.
Last season’s champions suffered their first defeat of the season to Knowle & Dorridge at the weekend so Green skipper Sutton understands Berkswell will be wanting to return to winning ways.
But Green themselves are aiming for victory after slumping to a seven-wicket defeat at local rivals Ombersley.
“It’s certainly going to be a challenge but both myself and the rest of the players love rising to this kind of occasion,” Sutton said.
“Berkswell are coming to us on the back of a defeat so they will be chomping at the bit to get back to the top of the table.
“But with Ed, Tom and Josh returning to us this weekend we have a strong squad which I hope takes some responsibility.
“My team talks as of late sound like a broken record player but it’s something which needs to be sorted.”
Green’s derby clash at Ombersley on Saturday was reduced to 40 overs before play even got underway due to the rain.
And after 12 overs in the first innings, the fixture was further reduced by ten overs per side.
After being put into bat, Green were bowled out for 104 with only Jamie Harrison (21) and Matthew Lamb (20) making any performances of note.
Ombersley were then set a Duckworth Lewis target of 108 which they reached in the 22nd over for the loss of three wickets.
Herefordshire’s Liam Gwynne inspired the hosts to victory with an unbeaten 48 to inflict a second successive defeat on the Green.
“It was a little bit disappointing really because if we reached about 120 or 130 runs I would have been confident of winning the game,” Sutton said.
“Before we started I said to our seam bowlers they would not get a better pitch to play on.
“There was plenty of swing and the ball was sticking but somehow we could not put the ball in the right areas.
“We have got a young side and we have to learn from these mistakes.”