Vernons Carus stars are beginning to fulfil their potential, says captain Bob Bridges

Vernon Carus skipper Bob Bridges believes many of his players are coming into their prime this season .

Bob Bridges
Bob Bridges

The men from Factory Lane have set the new cricket season on fire – winning their opening four league games .

They currently top the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division table, seven points clear of second-placed Thornton Cleveleys.

Once the force to be reckoned with in the league, Vernons won the title six times in an eight-year span.

But you have to go back to 2014 for the last of those triumphs and in the meantime, they have been overtaken by Longridge, Fulwood & Broughton and Garstang who have all gone on to win promotion to the Northern League after a pyramid system was introduced in 2017.

But Bridges believes the club can return to former glories this season and earn the right to ply their trade in the league above in the future. “There are a couple of players still playing for us from those title-winning sides but a lot of those former players have retired or are now playing in lower teams at the club,” he said.

“There’s been a transition but I’ve no doubts that with the lads that we have got, we can be a Palace Shield title-winning side. I couldn’t have asked for more from the players at the start of this season.

“Everybody has put the effort in and produced the performances on a Saturday.”

Last weekend, Vernons’ fixture at Kirkham & Wesham was one of only a handful of games to survive the heavy downpours. Matthew Stevenson’s brilliant century enabled them to post a whopping 186-3 off just 24 overs. In reply, the hosts fell 45 runs short.

“We did well to get a game on,” said Bridges. “Stevo has looked good all year and he came out firing from ball one.

“Then the bowlers managed to back it up so it was a very pleasing performance.”

Vernons host struggling Preston this weekend and Bridges added: “It doesn’t matter if we play second from top or second from bottom, we will be looking to play our brand of cricket and hopefully we’ll come out with 12 points.”