It’s double trouble for Vernons’ rivals

Paul Chapman Jr
Paul Chapman Jr
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Reigning Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division champions Vernon Carus want to set the bar even higher this season.

The Factory Lane outfit have won the title four times in the past five seasons – only fierce rivals Penwortham have managed to break Vernons’ stanglehold on the top prize when they won it in 2011.

Skipper Paul Chapman Jr is keen to see his men win the league for the third successive year – but also wants success in the prestigious Meyler Cup.

By their own high standards, Vernons’ recent record in the cup has been pretty ordinary and that is something Chapman wants to put right.

He has challenged his men to repeat what Penwortham did in 2011 and complete a league and cup double.

“If we win the title this year, it will be the third year in a row that we have won it and I don’t think that has ever been done before.

“That is our No.1 goal this season to win it for a third year and also win the Meyler Cup – that’s the target.

“We had a good game against Fulwood and Broughton in the Meyler Cup last year but ended up losing.

“It’s three or four years since we got to the final of the competition and a lot of people at our club think that’s too long.

“So I think this season, there’s an extra bit of oomph at the club to get to the final again.”

Vernons currently sit pretty at the top of the current league table. They have yet to taste defeat so far this season, winning five with the other two games being abandoned due to the weather.

Tomorrow, they travel to Highfield to take on F&B, who have won three and lost two in the first couple of months of the campaign.

“They will be a good side,” Chapman said. “They’ve had a decent start and are a good club – very much like ourselves – they put out a lot of teams.

“They will certainly be tough opposition for us this weekend but hopefully we will go out there and do a job on them.”

Vernons, who have strengthened their squad since last season with the return of middle order batsman John Hardiker – who has been able to commit to playing more matches – enjoyed a convincing win over Thornton Cleveleys last weekend.

On that occasion it was the bowlers who came to the fore as they dismissed Cleveleys for just 88.

Chapman, who reckons Great Eccleston, Garstang and Longridge will be their main challengers this season, believes his team is strong in every department.

“I think bowling and batting we are pretty much at the same level,” he said. We’ve no one strength that you can point out.”

Meanwhile, in the Northern League Division One, Leyland could go top of the table if they emerge victorious from their trip to Lancaster.

Chorley host Kendal, while Preston face St Annes at West Cliff.

Tomorrow’s fixtures

NORTHERN PREMIER LEAGUE: Morecambe v Blackpool, Chorley v Kendal, Darwen v Penrith, Lancaster v Leyland, Netherfield v Barrow, Preston v St Annes

PALACE SHIELD PREMIER DIVISION: Fulwood and Broughton v Vernon Carus, Fylde v Thornton Cleveleys, Garstang v BAC/EE Preston, Great Eccleston v Freckleton, Penwortham v Longridge, Whittingham and Goosnargh v Withnell Fold