KGJ Insurance County Cup 1st Round Preview

 Several teams aim for shock wins, Burway aim to bounce back

There are several teams looking to cause shocks in the 1st round of the KGJ Insurance County Cup tonight. There are 7 ties involving Salop Leisure Shropshire Premier Bowling League teams hoping to avoid an upset against a non-Premier League team. Hadley USC were relegated from the Premier League last season and will look to use that experience to defeat that league's champions Sir John Bayley at Allscott. Hadley captain Jim Fletcher will "approach the game the same way we would any other game. There is no pressure on us with the Bayley favourites and no advantage with the green as both teams will know it quite well." Bayley skipper Tom Roden says "HUSC aren't a Prem side this year but have a team just as good as last season and are now used to winning matches home and away in the Mid Shropshire league. We go into the game with two key players missing, Spencer Clarke and Alex Jones, but still have a strong side. In a competition like this, any win will do and we are looking forward to starting a new county cup campaign." Hadley never beat the Bayley when they returned to the league in 8 attempts home and away, but did beat them in the Harris Cup, so will hope they can do so again in a cup game. Fellow Mid Shropshire side Madeley Cricket Club play Chester Road in a repeat of the Semi Final a few years ago when the Mid Shropshire side enjoyed a fine run. But they are not the team they once were having lost players since then and Chester Road are back to near their best now. They battle on Battlefield, a green which Chester Road have some memories of from their time in the Premier League nearly 15 years ago. Another Mid Shropshire Division One side Sinclair aim to upset former winners St Georges on Wrockwardine Wood old green. Captain Stuart Church wants "his players to have a good day and not let themselves down" in taking on the Dragons. St Georges are serious contenders for this competition, and will be looking for their first final since 2010.

Two more Mid Shropshire sides aim to cause huge upsets, with Division Two sides Charlton and Trench facing record holders Castlefields and former finalists Ifton respectively. Charlton have an almighty task against the Fields, but captain Alan Munn has a tactic to beat them. "We are going there to enjoy it. We have 2 or 3 regulars unavailable due to work commitments but I'm sure the guys who come in will give it their best shot. We played the green a few seasons ago but haven't got to much green knowledge. As for tactics we have a guy who is going to their shoelaces together!" Trench may have a slightly easier task depending on what side Ifton put out, but spokesman Dave Evans "knows there is a big difference between the two sides in terms of league status. However we have had a good start to the season winning 3 out of the 4 league matches played to date, which includes 2 good away wins. Therefore confidence is high, and we will be heading to Shrewsbury hoping to give them a good run for their money. With regards to the Monkmoor green, we have never played it before so we will have to wait and see on that one." Ifton will hope to have a good run if they can get a good side out, they did reach the Quarter Finals last year.

Hadnall are an up and coming team having recently won promotion to Whitchurch League Division One, and will be looking to give a good account of themselves against Bylet. Spokesman Tim Jordan says "we'll just be going into the game to enjoy it, it's a free game to give some of our younger players experience against a Premier League side. Two or three of our guys have played Atcham in Division 5 of the Wem League, but clearly the opposition are a different proposition. I have only seen it twice, first time about 15 years agao, but never played it. I think we want to test ourselves against good players as most of the team have done in Division One of the Whitchurch League this year. Clearly we lose two or three players from that team (who play for Meole and Hanwood) and have another in good form, Jackie Price, unavailable. Hopefully we can keep it relatively tight for as long as possible, but I am sure Bylet will be looking to win by at least 40." Bylet are a much improved side having a few players sign for them over the Winter, and will be confident of a good cup run themselves. Wrockwardine Wood are bottom of the Premier League at the bottom, but will be thinking they will have enough for the Abbey, who used to be called Bricklayers. Abbey spokesman Neil Jones says "league form doesn't come into it as we are not having great league form ourselves. A cup game is a cup game at the end of the day. We aim to attack as well as we can and see what occurs. Think we have played on Chester Road Ladies green before but a long time ago. At the end of the day what will be will be, just have to wait and see!"

There are two all Premier League ties. Meole Brace play Burway in a repeat of Friday's League game which Meole won 11-3, but Meole spokesman Mark Thomas wants "no complacency tonight. Friday's result was aided by our green which was a big advantage, but Bowring old green will even things up. Any win would be a good result." Burway captain Chris Dovey comments "we will give it a good go tonight but don't know to much about the greenas we have only played on it once before." Hanwood against Wem USC is the other clash featuring two Premier League teams, and both will have knowledge of the Hadley USC green that was formerly in the league. The other two clashes feature no Premier League teams, Tanners League Divsion One side Prince Hotel should beat former Division Three side Monkmoor on Oxon, while District and Old Shrewsbury could be a close one between the two Division One sides, playing on Sir John Bayley bottom green.

Newport and Hanmer receive walkovers over Whittington and Donnington Wood respectively, while holders Bowring and Tanners Shropshire League sides Battlefield and Elephant and Castle receive byes. A reminder that there is no dress code tonight, and that results need to be entered online using your SCGBA password that your secretary should have. Any questions please contact Mo Corley or Rob Burroughs. 1st round Draw: Hanmer w/o Donnington Wood at Prince Hotel Prince Hotel v Monkmoor at Oxon Newport w/o Whittington at Hodnet Chester Road v Madeley Cricket Club at Battlefield Trench v Ifton at Monkmoor Charlton v Castlefields at Bridgewater Big Green District v Old Shrewsbury at Sir John Bayley Bottom Green Abbey v Wrockwardine Wood at Chester Road Ladies Green Sinclair v St Georges at Wrockwardine Wood Old Green Sir John Bayley v Hadley USC at Allscott Burway v Meole Brace at Bowring Old Green Hadnall v Bylet at Atcham Malthouse Hanwood v Wem USC at Hadley USC   Battlefield, Bowring & Elephant and Castle have byes.

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