The Ray Digman Knockout Trophy group matches
01. Ainsdale v Northop Hall
02. Maghull v Lytham
03. St Helens v Hightown
04. Sutton v Liverpool
05. Fleetwood Hesketh v Highfield
06. Wavertree v Prestatyn
07. Alder v New Brighton
08. Birkenhead St Mary’s v Sefton Park
09. Parkfield Liscard v Leigh
10. Wigan v Newton le Willows
11. Burscough v Rainford
12. St Helens Recs v Ormskirk
13. Moorfield v Orrell Red Triangle
14. Skelmersdale v Northern
15. Southport and Birkdale v Colwyn Bay
16. Wallasey v Caldy
17. Formby v Bootle
18. Southport Trinity v Rainhil
LIVERPOOL’S club cricketers will be hoping their fine form in winter nets will last and the good weather continues as this weekend ushers in the start of a new season.
With games in the Bridging Finance Solutions Liverpool and District Competition not due to start until May 7, attention turns to the Ray Digman Knockout round robin matches, with one team in particular confident it can be another season full of cup success.
Bootle skipper David Snellgrove believes his side can continue their outstanding cup record of recent years with a number of factors giving Snellgrove cause for hope ahead of their season opener away at Formby CC.
“There’s a feel good factor with England winning the Ashes and after ten weeks of indoor nets we’re chomping at the bit,” said Snellgrove.
“From last season we’ve lost keeper Neil Williams but have replaced him with Davy Smith and we’ll also have Stephen Parry back from Lancashire which is a big lift for everyone.”
Parry’s return has proved beneficial for other reasons as it was through the left-arm spinner’s connections that Bootle have signed their new overseas player, Australian Michael Swart.
“Pazzer was playing with Michael for Western Australia Warriors over the winter and they struck up a good friendship and when he mentioned he was interested in coming over we jumped at the chance,” said Snellgrove.
Swart, 28, has been a prolific batsman in first grade cricket and made his first class debut for Western Australia last year, in addition to playing against England in an Ashes warm up game.
Swart holds a Dutch passport through his mother, and after much speculation that he would play in this year’s World Cup he has been picked in the Netherlands squad for this season’s CB40 competition.
“It’s come as a complete surprise to us,” admits Snellgrove.
“A week ago we thought our squad was complete but when a player like Michael becomes available you can’t turn it down so we worked very quickly to make it happen.”
As for Bootle’s rivals this season, Snellgrove believes there will be a number of strong challengers for league and cup glory.
“I can’t look past the usual suspects,” he said.
“Lytham had a fantastic season last year and they’ll be up there and I’m sure Ormskirk will be as competitive as ever. I also think Colwyn Bay and New Brighton will be strong.”