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National Counties Trophy Preview

18 Jun 2021
National Counties Trophy Preview

Bedfordshire all-rounder George Darlow will make his return to county action in familiar surroundings in Sunday’s National Counties Trophy match against Buckinghamshire at Southill Park. 

Darlow suffered a serious shoulder injury when he fell on the boundary rope fielding for Bedfordshire in a friendly against Huntingdonshire at Dunstable in April and it was feared that he would not play again this season. 

But Darlow, who plays for Sawston & Bromham in the East Anglian Premier League, has regained fitness sooner than expected and has been completing his rehabilitation with Southill Park, the club where his career began. 

Darlow will go into Sunday’s match on the back of two centuries, one for Southill Park’s midweek XI against Sawston & Bromham and another against Dunstable Town in a Sunday fixture last weekend. 

Sunday’s match will be Bedfordshire’s first visit to Southill Park’s picturesque ground on the Whitbread family estate since 2002. 

Buckinghamshire have included batsman Conrad Louth, who missed the defeat by Wales NC in their opening match three weeks ago, in a 13-man squad alongside Gloucestershire seamer Dominic Goodman, who played in three LV= County Championship matches at the start of the season. 

Goodman was educated at Dr Challoner’s School in Chesham and played county age group cricket for Buckinghamshire before joining Gloucestershire’s Academy. 

Wales NC, the Group Four pacesetters, have again been able to name an unchanged side for their match against Oxfordshire at Banbury. 

Oxfordshire have brought Tom Price, Matt Warner and Lucas Pugh into their 12-man squad and again have Sussex new recruit James Coles available following his match-winning performance on debut against holders Berkshire last week. 

Worcestershire seamer Mitchell Stanley has been included in Shropshire’s squad for their Group One match against Cheshire at Toft. 

Stanley, who plays his club cricket for Shifnal, has represented Shropshire at age group level but has yet to make his senior debut for his native county. 

Will Parton, Simon Gregory and Tyler Ibbotson have also been named in Shropshire’s 12-man squad but Ross Aucott (dislocated knee) and Ben Roberts (torn ligaments) miss out. All-rounder Sam Ellis is having to self-isolate having come into contact with someone showing COVID-19 symptoms and Joe Carrasco is unavailable this weekend. 

Cheshire have been forced to name a completely different side to the one that beat Northumberland last weekend following a positive COVID-19 test. All the players involved last week are now self-isolating as a consequence. 

Rick Moore will make his first appearance of the season and captain a side that includes Leicestershire batsman Harry Dearden. 

Dearden, who plays his club cricket for Glossop, made four appearances for Cheshire – including a Trophy match against Shropshire at Oswestry – in 2016 before he joined Leicestershire. 

Hyde slow left-armer Dan Cranmer will make his first appearance for Cheshire in eight years and his clubmate, wicketkeeper Adam Worrall, his first for the county since 2016. 

Staffordshire, who were beaten by Cumbria in their tournament opener last week, have left Peter Wilshaw, their second-highest run-scorer in limited overs cricket and their three-day captain, out of the side for the visit of Northumberland to Checkley.  

Former Cumbria slow left-armer Toby Bulcock will make his belated Staffordshire debut having switched counties ahead of last year’s cancelled campaign with Porthill Park batsman Louis Allison called up for his Trophy debut. 

Northumberland will give debuts to brothers John and Matthew Oswell, who play their club cricket for Burnopfield, among six changes to the side beaten by Cheshire last week. 

Captain Tom Cant returns to lead the side, Ashington opening batsman Jack Jessop will make his first county appearance in four years and wicketkeeper Matthew Brown his first of the season. 

Devon are without pace bowlers Hugo Whitlock (ankle) and Dan Goodey (side strain) for their Group Two derby match against Cornwall at Redruth. 

Batsman James Horler has also been released for club duty with Exmouth in the Devon Knock Out Cup. Into the squad come Ned Leonard, who is on Somerset’s staff, Matt Golding and wicketkeeper/batsman Adam Small. Golding has recovered from a shoulder injury which ruled him out of the defeat by Herefordshire. 

Cornwall have made two changes to the side that defeated Herefordshire at Eastnor last Sunday with Anthony Angove and Dan Lello replacing the unavailable Paul Smith and Scott Kellow. 

Wiltshire host Herefordshire at Warminster with Will Nash, an all-rounder from Frocester with Second XI experience with Gloucestershire, set to make his National Counties debut. 

Herefordshire have called up Shameer Ahmed for the unavailable David Ball as the only change to the side beaten by Cornwall. 

Former captain Adam Mansfield and his Sudbury team-mate Ben Parker return for Suffolk for their Group Three match against Lincolnshire at Mildenhall. 

Lincolnshire can again call on Leicestershire all-rounder George Rhodes, who made his debut in last weekend’s defeat by Hertfordshire. But Matt Carter, their match winner against Norfolk three weeks ago, is again required by Nottinghamshire for Vitality Blast duty. 

Nottinghamshire have also included batsman Sol Budinger in their squad for the Vitality Blast match at Old Trafford so Norfolk have been forced to make one change for their match against Hertfordshire at Bishop’s Stortford. 

Stephan Marillier comes in for Budinger who made his National Counties debut against Lincolnshire three weeks ago. 


National Counties Trophy  (50 overs) 

Sunday June 20 (11am) 

Group One:  

Toft: Cheshire v Shropshire.  Checkley: Staffordshire v Northumberland. 


Group Two 

Redruth: Cornwall v Devon.  Warminster: Wiltshire v Herefordshire. 


Group Three 

Bishop’s Stortford: Hertfordshire v Norfolk. Mildenhall: Suffolk v Lincolnshire. 


Group Four 

Southill Park: Bedfordshire v Buckinghamshire. Banbury: Oxfordshire v Wales NC.

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