Waringstown begin defence with a testing trip to Lisburn

Waringstown captain Lee Nelson with the Ulster Bank Northern Cricket Union Premier League Cup which the club hopes to retain this season.  Also in the picture are Sean Murphy, regional managing director Ulster Bank, and Peter McMorran, president of the NCU.

Waringstown captain Lee Nelson with the Ulster Bank Northern Cricket Union Premier League Cup which the club hopes to retain this season. Also in the picture are Sean Murphy, regional managing director Ulster Bank, and Peter McMorran, president of the NCU.

Waringstown captain Lee Nelson says his team face a different challenge ahead of the start of the new cricket season this weekend.

The villagers won the Ulster Bank NCU Premier League and Irish Cup in a golden summer in 2015.

They begin the season as the favourites for trophies once again, but Nelson acknowledges that they must maintain a desire for silverware.

The campaign gets under way with a visit to Wallace Park to face Lisburn on Saturday.

Waringstown haven’t enjoyed the best pre-season, with injuries to the captain himself, Phil Eaglestone and Gary Kidd, and James McCollum unavailable because of university commitments in England.

“It maybe hasn’t gone as well as expected,” said Nelson. “We have picked up a few injuries but every cloud has a silver lining and those injuries have given opportunities to Morgan Topping, Johnny Waite and Jack Carson, who have given a good account of themselves.”

Nelson and Eaglestone are expected to be fit to face Lisburn and with new professional Cobus Pienaar arriving from South Africa on Thursday, Waringstown should be much stronger than during the double defeat to Dublin YMCA at the weekend.

“Wallace Park is always a tough place to go, we’ve been turned over there a few times and even North Down in their pomp struggled there at times,” Nelson added.

“They’ve got a new young captain (Adam Berry) who will bring in his own fresh ideas. We will have to be at our best if we want to win the game. If you don’t produce your best in this league you can get turned over.”