By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle
It’s not been the start to the season Birmingham Cricket League champions Shrewsbury wanted, but captain Rob Foster insists no-one at London Road is pressing the panic button ahead of Saturday’s visit of Dorridge.
Shrewsbury have been beaten in both of their premier division games this term, tasting defeat at the hands of West Bromwich Dartmouth and then Brockhampton.
They are without two of their regulars this weekend as opening batsman Ed Foster is an usher at a friend’s wedding while Steve Barnard is ruled out through university commitments.
Alex Blofield and county paceman Mike Barnard, making his first appearance of the season, are pencilled in as replacements.
Skipper Foster detected some plus points in last weekend’s three-wicket reverse and hopes it will be a case of third time lucky as Shrewsbury get ready to host top-flight newcomers Dorridge (noon).
“There’s definitely no panic,” said Foster. “You don’t become a bad team overnight.
“We’ve got great players and it’s just a case of someone needing to put a great performance in.
“No-one’s quite done it yet, got a big score or taken some wickets to win us a game, which will bring our confidence back up and get us buzzing again.
“But the win a young team pulled off in the National KO at Penkridge last Sunday will help as that was a fantastic effort.
“Going into Dorridge, I feel that we’re getting back towards the cricket we can play. I don’t know why but it’s been a strange start to the season, but hopefully come Saturday we’ll be ready to give a good performance.”
Shrewsbury will be forced to ring the changes once again for Sunday’s local derby at town rivals Reman Services in the second round of the ECB National Club Championship (1pm) owing to Shropshire call ups.
Rob Foster, Ed Foster, Tom Cox, Anthony Parker, Alex Blofield and Sam Griffiths, who will be making his county debut, are all in the Shropshire team to take on Northumberland at Newcastle in the Unicorns Knockout Trophy.
The all county town clash is one that both teams will be eagerly awaiting as Reman go in search of a shock win against Shrewsbury who play four divisions higher.
“Shrewsbury have got quality players throughout the club,” said Reman’s experienced bowler Shane Gwilt. “It’s a great challenge for us and it’s a game we’re really looking forward to. We’ll give it our best shot and see where it takes us.
“I think it’s a great game for the town as playing Shrewsbury was always the derby for us. They’ve obviously since gone on to great heights and are now four divisions higher but it will be nice to see a few familiar faces.”
Shrewsbury captain Foster added: “The last time I played Reman I was about 18 and I think they beat us in a knockout match.
“We’ll be hampered again by Shropshire unavailability but it’s always nice to play a local fixture and I’m sure Reman will be looking forward to it.
“They’re a good set of lads down there and I know Ed Ashlin, the captain, quite well. He’s a good lad. I’m sure it will be good fun for both sides.
“There’s local bragging rights, I suppose. We would love to beat Reman and they would love to beat us.”
SHREWSBURY (v Dorridge): S Leach, T Cox, J Leach, R Foster, A Blofield, A Parker, D Jones, M Barnard, E Green, C Morris, S Griffiths.