GCW set for crunch derby with Frocester
THERE will be more than just local pride at stake when the top two club sides in Gloucestershire collide at Pounds Close tomorrow.
Gloucester City Winget make the Premier One trip with plenty riding on it for both sides.
With both teams currently mired in a relegation battle, tomorrow's loser will face an uphill struggle to retain their top-flight status.
With GCW going into the game on the back of a humbling and heavy defeat at the hands of Bath last weekend, skipper Matt Jennings knows an improved performance will be needed from his men.
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After being skittled out for 92 on a damp pitch, Jennings and company were helpless to prevent the reigning champions from easing home by ten wickets inside 20 overs.
"It wasn't a great performance by us and the only positive is that we can't be any worse this week," Jennings said.
"It was one of those games where if you lost the toss you were at a massive disadvantage.
"The water had got underneath our temporary covers and the pitch was a bit damp so when they bowled first it was really tough.
"It didn't get that much easier as the game went on, but their guy at the top of the order (Alex Barrow, who hit 74) who plays county cricket was just too good.
"We had a word after the game and said a few home truths and we know we have to improve against Frocester.
"So far this season with the way the weather has been we've not played the teams around us too much.
"But we go into this one knowing a lot about them because we've played them a lot before.
"It's not a trip into the unknown like we have had a lot of this season already."
Jennings must do without Lloyd Griffiths and Amit Patel for the short trip to Pounds Close.
However, Paul Carter is available for the first time this term and will strengthen both the bowling and batting.
Meanwhile, positivity will be the buzzword in the Frocester camp ahead of a "massive" game.
Frocester go into the derby still looking for their first victory of the campaign.
But club secretary Eric Woodmason said there were positive signs in their match against Corsham last Saturday before rain forced play to be abandoned.
Nick Trainor's 41 helped Frocester reach 204 for seven in their 40 overs and Corsham were 32 for one when the weather intervened.
The points gained from the match were enough for Frocester to leapfrog GCW and move off the foot of the table.
Woodmason said: "Nick had a really positive team talk before the match last Saturday. It was about being positive because unless you're positive you won't maximise your resources.
"They did put that plan into action and that will be the message again, to take it forward into the match on Saturday.
"Moving off the bottom of the table is a step in the right direction and it was merited because we batted really well, they were 32 for one and we were hopeful of victory."
Jackson Thompson is set to return for Frocester tomorrow in a match which neither side can afford to lose.
Woodmason said: "I can't talk from GCW's point of view, but it's massive for us and we're desperate to play."