GOATACRE have been given a second free pass in the National Village Knockout Cup after Lechlade failed to raise a side for their Sunday clash.

After being handed a walkover by Shroton in the first round of the competition, Goatacre skipper Brad Dawson is starting to wonder whether his team can make it all the way to Lord’s without playing a match.

He told the Advertiser: “I was pretty surprised by it. In a way it would have been nice to play them, win and go through but if they are struggling to put out a team and we get to go through without having to play then perfect because Lechlade are a good club.

“They have been quite successful the last two years and they are a team that could easily beat you on a day.

“If it’s this easy all the way to Lord’s then so be it. We’ve got through the first two rounds without having to play. Obviously it’s a shame if clubs are struggling to get players.

“We’ve always been alright in it because of our history in it and Goatacre are quite well known to play in the Knockout. Others just play in it in a Sunday game.”

Instead, Goatacre’s cricketing appetites will have to be satiated by their WEPL Premier Two meeting with Ilminster on Saturday.

After opening-day defeat to Potterne, during which they were bowled out for just 66, tomorrow represents a second chance for Dawson & Co to properly launch their season.

“I know they lost at lot of games last year in Prem One but between that league and ours there’s quite a big jump,” Dawson said of Goatacre’s opponents.

“I think they’ll be alright. From what I’ve heard they’ve got a couple of decent players - their overseas and their captain.

“We’ll be alright. As I said before we just laugh about it. When you’re 60-something all out you can’t say much about it. We’ll be alright. We started quite slowly last year and finished quite well. The forecast isn’t great, it will depend on how dry it is on Friday.”

Liam Dawson and Matt Coles are unavailable as they are set to feature in Hampshire’s County Championship match against Glamorgan at Southampton, which starts on Sunday, while Jif Wilkins is set for an extended spell out of action with a suspected broken thumb. Kevin Iles, Matt House and Toby Horton take their places in the Goatacre side.