By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle
Rob Foster has stressed the importance of Shrewsbury’s cricketers quickly putting the disappointment of their shock opening day defeat firmly behind them.
Shrewsbury, runaway Birmingham League premier division champions last season, were bowled out for just 83 as they went down by eight wickets to West Bromwich Dartmouth at London Road.
Foster said it was one of the worst performances he has been involved in for some time and now he wants his team to respond the right way as they prepare for Saturday’s tricky trip to Herefordshire to take on Brockhampton.
“If you’re going to have a disappointing day, it’s probably best to get it out of the way on the first day,” said Foster. “Brockhampton finished second last year and started off with a good win so we know it will be a tough game on Saturday.
“We also got thrashed there last year but these early games can give you a lot of momentum and we need to put in a much better performance.
“If we had scored 120, 140 last weekend it gives you something to bowl at, but that wasn’t the case after being bowled out for 83.”
Shrewsbury will be forced to make one enforced change as Shrewsbury School commitments rule out England under-19 star Ed Barnard, but county all-rounder Alex Blofield makes a timely return.
“While it’s disappointing to lose Ed, we never expected to see much of him in the first half of the season,” added Foster. “I didn’t actually expect him to be available last weekend.”
Shrewsbury then travel to Penkridge for their delayed ECB National Club Championship first round tie on Sunday. The match was called off last weekend as the pitch was too wet.
A Shrewsbury victory would set up an exciting second round showdown against town neighbours Reman Services, impressive four-wicket winners at Moddershall last weekend.
But Shrewsbury will need to ring the changes as they are missing five players who have been called up by Shropshire for their opening Unicorns Knockout Trophy tie against Lincolnshire at London Road on Sunday (11am).
Skipper Foster, his brother Ed, Tom Cox, Anthony Parker and Elliot Green have all been selected for the county who were beaten finalists in the one-day competition last season.
SHREWSBURY (v Brockhampton): E Foster, S Leach, T Cox, J Leach, R Foster, A Parker, A Blofield, S Barnard, S Griffiths, E Green, D Jones.