Uphill Castle need to make a 'good start' against Temple Cloud says Llewellyn

Uphill Castle's George Chapman bowling against Malpas

George Chapman bowling for Uphill Castle in their friendly against Malpas. - Credit: Jason Belcher

Uphill Castle “need to get a good start” to set up their 2021 season when they take on Temple Cloud says captain Andy Llewellyn.

Castle have named a “strong side” for Saturday’s Somerset League Premier Division match with a couple of changes made from their defeat to Bridgwater in their final pre-season match.

Llewellyn will lead the side with George Cox coming in for his second competitive debut after returning from Weston, while there are returns with Luke Bliss and George Fox coming into the side, as Mark Biggs and Luke Morgan are playing for the seconds, making the squad “very strong all round”.

“We get on really well with Temple Cloud, we are in a league where everyone can beat everyone, we need to get off to a very good start,” said Llewellyn.

“They came up last year after being relegated two years before. They will be determined on Saturday. The cricket is very important, it’s only an 18-game season. So we need to get a good start to set you up for the season.”

Rob Harris bowling out Andre Belcher

Uphill Castle's Andre Belcher being bowled by Malpas' Rob Collins. - Credit: Jason Belcher

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Llewellyn hailed the absence of rugby and football as a “bonus” after being able to name a full-strength squad for pre-season.

Uphill have played four games, winning against Shaftsbury Road and Lympsham & Belvedere before back-to-back defeats against Bridgwater and Malpas last weekend.

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And ahead of their league opener Llewellyn praised the squad, especially the emergence of young duo Myles Bliss and Charlie Huke, as well as the “very impressive” Hayden Watts who has been a “revelation” since he has come back into the first team following a serious illness.

“For a long time we’ve got strength in depth. We have to leave a couple of players out this week who would normally be first-team players and they have done really well in pre-season,” he added.

“They were two different games really, the Bridgwater game was a first-team friendly. They are a division above us and I thought we equipped ourselves really well. Some good performances and that will give me a positive attitude going into the season.

“Lympsham was a good win the week before but the Bridgwater game was a benchmark and the boys on Saturday proved they can do it. Hopefully we can start the league in good confidence.

“The Malpas game was more of a club friendly to give people a game who didn’t play on Saturday. It was a bit of a weaker team. Again it was experience for the three teams and for the first time in a long time all three teams had good preparation for the new season.”

Uphill Castle XI: Andy Llewellyn, Paddy Holyday, George Fox, George Cox, Kieran Ward, Luke Bliss, George Chapman, Hayden Watts, Jermaine Jones, Tom Elstone, Tom Llewellyn.

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