Johnson Eyes Second XI
Featured News | 3rd September 2013
It has today been announced that Welbeck Colliery Cricket Club will host the Second XI Trophy final between Nottinghamshire and Lancashire on 11 September. Play is scheduled to start at noon.
Second XI coach Paul Johnson was optimistic of home advantage paying dividends in the final.
"We're happy with the home draw," he said.
"A few of the guys have played there as pros, it's Jake Ball's home club it's and already its stimulating a bit of interest locally.
"It's great for the lads to have their family and friends there rather than trekking all the way to Bolton.
"They'll be sleeping in their own beds and it doesn't break our routine too much, whereas Lancashire will have to travel and stay overnight.
"Hopefully that home advantage will bear fruit for us.
"We would have liked it to be at a First Class venue, but unfortunately neither Old Trafford or Trent Bridge were available," added Johnson.
"We had the option then to provide an adequate venue and we certainly think that Welbeck fulfils that criteria.
"It has a good, competitive wicket and the facilities there are up to speed too, so it should give them a bit of good exposure as well."
Lancashire's Second XI are no strangers for Notts, their strength in depth seeing them become one of the sides to beat in recent years, but despite being on the losing side in their fixtures in both the Second Eleven Championship and t20s, Nottinghamshire have beaten them in the trophy.
"They are very powerful, but we beat them in this competition earlier in the year, as a result of penalty runs, so we know that we have the ability to do so again," said Johnson.
"Two years ago it was the same final and we beat them then, so we know that if we play good cricket then anything can happen.
"The boys have done well to get to this stage and can go on and do well on their own turf."
While the Nottinghamshire side will go into the final as second favourites, they will have confidence that their team spirit and morale will come to their aid. They have said their togetherness has seen them through tough fixturs before, and Johnson was sure it would do again.
"They have a never say die attitude and they've got themselves out of some tight spots by going all the way," he said.
"In the semi final we played a solid all round performance, we set the game up with solid batting and at half way in their innings they were probably 60-40 favourites."
"We pulled that around through sticking together, being disciplined and performing our duties well. THe experience of Luke Fletcher at the end was invaluable."
"If we can emulate that then we can go close, even win."