Experience will be vital says Chappy

Paul Chapman has his eyes firmly fixed 'on the title
Paul Chapman has his eyes firmly fixed 'on the title
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Vernon Carus’ big-match temperament could prove vital in the destiny of the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division title.

The reigning champions are in the driving seat to collect their fifth league crown in the past six years.

They currently lead the way at the top of the table – 11 points clear of second-placed Great Eccleston, with Longridge two points further back.

Fourth-placed Garstang are 23 points off the pace and still harbour an outside chance of winning the title with five games to go.

Vernons captain Paul Chapman Jr believes his team’s past experience of winning the title will prove crucial in the final run-in.

“There are five game to go and it’s hotting up at the top,” said Chapman.

“Four teams are still in it – realistically three, although Garstang will think they are still not out of it.

“We are all confident that we can win it again.

“We know what we need to do and the players are as hungry to win it now as they were in previous seasons.”

Despite their title-winning experience of previous seasons, Vernons still face a serious test of their credentials in the final few weeks of this campaign.

They still have Garstang and Great Eccleston to play, while the final match of the season against fierce derby rivals Penwortham at Middleforth Green could be a tasty encounter, especially if Vernons need a win to lift the league title.

“The last five games are all tough,” Chapman said. “But the last three are really big games for us.

“If we can win all those games then we will win the league, so that’s a big incentive for us.

“I’m confident we will raise our game because I don’t think we have hit top form yet.

“We have got the job done so far but hopefully over the next few weeks, we will hit top form.

“Everybody in our team wants to play in the big games and the games at the top of the table.”

Vernons were given a decent run for their money last weekend against BAC/EE Preston before eventually prevailing by 23 runs.

“We knew it was going to be a good wicket last Saturday and we were doing okay until we lost a few quick wickets.

“We then had a good partnership which got us up to 210 and once we get a score like that we always back our bowlers to get the job done.”

Tomorrow, Vernons travel to Thornton Cleveleys, who have been rejuvenated over the second half of the season and are now firmly fixes in a mid-table position.

“They are a good side,” said Chapman. “Over the second half of the season, they’ve had some fantastic wins in some big games.

“It’s going to be another good game tomorrow and hopefully we can come through.”