Vernons batsman Ian has Dunn good

TOP BAT: Ian Dunn, left, is presented with a bottle of champagne by Damian Walmsley of Moore and Smalley
TOP BAT: Ian Dunn, left, is presented with a bottle of champagne by Damian Walmsley of Moore and Smalley
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Vernon Carus star Ian Dunn has had much to celebrate on a personal level in recent weeks.

The opening batsman celebrated the arrival of his newborn son by being named Moore and Smalley Palace Shield player of the month.

He scored 261 runs, including a century, in just five games during April and May, before welcoming baby George – a brother for two-year-old Isla – into this world on June 1.

Although life has been pretty hectic over the past couple of months, it has not appeared to have affected his form out in the middle.

In fact, in the match immediately after Gerorge’s arrival, Dunn smacked a match-winning half-century against Fylde.

“It’s been a great couple of months,” Dunn said. “I’ve just had a second child and I’ve scored a few runs.

“The last couple of months, cricket has not really been up there on my list of priorities, but I suppose now I’ll be able concentrate on it a bit more.

“I have had a few sleepless nights in the last couple of weeks and I’ve been rocking up to the games a little bit tired, but it seems to have helped settle me down.

“I’ve managed to get some runs and I’ve been in good nick.

“There have been a couple of good pitches to bat on and I’m hoping I can carry it on now for the rest of the season.”

While everything is going great for Dunn personally, it has not been the best of starts for reigning champions Vernons.

Already the men from Factory Lane have lost double the amount of games this summer that they did during the entire campaign last year.

They have fallen well off the pace at the top of the table and were well beaten by current leaders Great Eccleston on Saturday.

Dunn concedes it has not been the best of starts, but has pointed to the absence of key bowling duo Paul Hayton and Joe Allen as one of the major reasons behind Vernons’ slow start

“I would much rather be top of the table than winning the player-of-the-month award,” Dunn admitted.

“But we’ve had a few injuries which have made it a bit more difficult.

“I don’t think we have actually played with our best XI in any of the games yet, which is a bit annoying.”

Although Vernons – who face bottom side Croston at home this weekend – find themselves 27 points off the top, Dunn is not ruling his team out from making a title charge.

“We only lost two games last season, but I think it’s more competitive this year,” he said.

“Teams have improved and the likes of Great Eccleston, Longridge, Garstang, Penwortham and Freckleton are all capable of beating each other, so I think a team can lose five or six games, but still win the title.

“We have lost four already so it doesn’t give us too much room for error.”

Tomorrow’s fixtures:

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

PALACE SHIELD PREMIER DIVISION: BAC/EE Preston v Freckleton, Hoghton v Garstang, Longridge v Fylde, Penwortham v Great Eccleston, Thornton Cleveleys v Fulwood and Broughton, Vernon Carus v Croston.