Arch rivals Penwortham and Vernon Carus ready for promotion battle

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Vernon Carus captain Bob Bridges believes his men will have the slight psychological edge when they face arch rivals Penwortham this weekend.

The pair face-off at Middleforth Green in a mouthwatering Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division derby encounter.

Separated by a railway track, there are more than just bragging rights on the line this weekend for the two clubs.

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Vernons currently lead the way at the top of the table as they bid to win promotion to the Northern League.

Bob BridgesBob Bridges
Bob Bridges

However, after a few years in the doldrums, Penwortham are having a decent season themselves and lie in fourth place, with the top two spots within touching distance.

A win for them tomorrow will throw the title and promotion race wide open, especially as Vernons have former Northern League clubs Barrow and Penrith breathing down their necks.

Bridges knows it is going to be tough battle but thinks his men will have gained some confidence from getting the better of Pen in a T20 match on Wednesday night.

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“It’s always a good game against Penwortham,” he said. “We played a T20 game against them on Wednesday night and we managed to just come out on the right side of that.

“Hopefully we can take that into Saturday although it’s obviously going to be a totally different game.”

Bridges has been impressed with the way Pen have gone about their business this season and he expects the promotion race will be extremely competitive.

“They are a good group of lads,” added Bridges, who saw his team lose to Eccleston last weekend.

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“They have got some good players. I am not surprised to see them up there.

“We have been top for most of the season but I never expected us to run away with.

“There are plenty of good teams in the league.

“The two former Northern League clubs are strong and there are lots of good Palace Shield teams.

“ But if somebody had said to me at the start of the season that we would be in the position that we are then I think we would have taken that.”

This weekend's fixtures

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NORTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE: Fleetwood v Fulwood & Broughton, Kendal v Netherfield, Lancaster v Garstang, Leyland v Chorley, Morecambe v Longridge, St Annes v Blackpool.

MOORE AND SMALLEY PALACE SHIELD: Barrow v Penrith, Croston v Kirkham and Wesham, Eccleston v South Shore, Fylde v Preston, Great Eccleston v Thornton Cleveleys, Penworthan v Vernon Carus.

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