WILTSHIRE captain Dave Bauer admits his side go into this weekend’s English men’s County Championship Finals as one of the favourites but insists there is no extra pressure as they look to defend the title they historically claimed last year.
The county side tee off at Beau Desert GC in Staffordshire tomorrow, facing stiff competition from 2010 champions Lancashire, Suffolk and Worcestershire.
Last September, Wiltshire, then captained by Kevin Phillips, lifted the trophy for the first time in their history at Yorkshire’s Ganton club and Bauer is excited ahead of the county’s fifth finals appearance in the last six years.
“I think that we’re going to be one of the tipped teams, along with Lancashire, but I don’t think that there’s any added pressure on us because we’re the defending champions,’’ said non-playing skipper Bauer, whose side earned their place in this year’s finals by winning the South West Counties qualifier at Cumberwell Park in Bradford on Avon, in June.
“It’s going to be tough but our guys are playing well and we’re just concentrating on doing our best.’’ Five of last year’s title-winning squad have returned to the line-up, including Bowood’s England international Jordan Smith.
Clubmate Garry Slade, the county champion will also feature in the round robin event in which the seven-strong Wiltshire team take on Worcester-shire first tomorrow.
Updates from the English county finals this weekend: gazetteandherald.co.uk