SOUTH Wilts face a quarter-final away day to either Kent or Essex if they beat Bridgwater in Sunday’s rain delayed ECB Kingfisher Beer Cup fifth round tie at Bemerton, 1pm.
Last weekend’s eagerly awaited Bridgwater showdown was predictably cancelled after prolonged heavy rain left Bemerton waterlogged, writes Mike Vimpany.
Now the sides will try again on Sunday, with the winners travelling to either Tunbridge Wells or Wanstead, whose tie was also postponed.
South Wilts’ weren’t alone in losing their fifth round tie to the weather.
“Only one tie across the entire country was played,” confirmed ECB Competitions Manager Aaron Campbell, who has adopted a flexible approach to the problems virtually all clubs are facing.
“Conditions are so bad in some parts of the UK that I’m giving clubs another week’s latitude, so if this Sunday is called off, then they can re-arrange on July 22.
“But that really is the cut-off point, as I need to have the quarter-finals set in place to be played on July 29.”
South Wilts name an unchanged cup side, with skipper James Hayward again relying on a four-pronged seam attack, with plenty of spin options as a variant.
South Wilts: Morton, Riddle, Abel, Mynott, Hayward, Hibberd, Pittman, Franklin, Haggarty, Warner, Sheppard.
Bridgwater: Coles, Hallaran, Windsor, Butt, Clarke, Vickery, Gange, Jones, Bishop, Habberfield, Skidmore, Standerwick, Clapp, Skidmore.
South Wilts were among the wholesale postponements last weekend when every match in the Southern Electric Premier and Hampshire League pyramid was washed out.
Over one-third of this season’s league programme has been lost to the weather, with numerous clubs sent reeling financially through loss of income.
“We are fortunate at Salisbury with a thriving sports club, but some of the smaller sides who rely on match fees and bar income to keep themselves going must really be feeling the pinch,” Hayward said.
South Wilts are due to visit bottom-of-the-table Ventnor on Saturday, but the ECB Southern Electric Premier League match is already in doubt as the Newclose county ground was waterlogged earlier this week. South Wilts IIs are scheduled to host Portsmouth in Division III.