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 .
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.
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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.”