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Winning North of Scotland Senior Cup would be just rewards for Northern Counties Cricket Club's hard graft in 2022, says captain Will Ford


By Andrew Henderson

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Northern Counties Cricket Club captain Will Ford believes the club owes themselves silverware this year as a reward for the hard work they have put in.

The Northern Meeting Park outfit travel to The Abbey in Fort Augustus today for their second cup final of the season against Ross County in the Senior Cup.

They have already exceeded expectations in the national Cricket Scotland Challenge Cup, and lead the way in Nosca's Senior League with a perfect record with three matches left to play.

Will Ford will lead Northern Counties into another cup final this afternoon. Picture: James Mackenzie
Will Ford will lead Northern Counties into another cup final this afternoon. Picture: James Mackenzie

However, Counties did lose in the T20 Cup final to Forres, and there are no guarantees when it comes to knockout competitions.

Counties do have reason to be confident with three wins under their belt over Ross County in 2022, and Ford believes if they can repeat that to lift a trophy this afternoon then it will be just rewards for the squad's efforts to date.

"There's been a lot of buzz," Ford explained.

"We haven't been able to get into our ground this week to train due to the Amy Macdonald concert, so we're training up at Fraser Park – Highland have let us use their ground, so we're thankful to them.

"It's one of those weird ones with us, because so many of the boys work it's very rare that we all get together during the week.

"There are the group chats, and people looking forward to the final, but normally it's Friday night that everyone starts getting chirpy and excited about it.

"I think people realise how much hard work has gone into this season, and that we owe ourselves a couple of cups to reward ourselves for the graft that has been put in."

Learning from past setbacks

Ford's new mantra has become "win or learn" when it comes to Northern Counties' matches.

After being unable to lift the T20 Cup last month, then, returning to the spotlight of a cup final gives him the chance to show lessons have been learned quickly.

Insights will be taken from the T20 final as well as last weekend's league victory over Elgin, with Ford not ruling out a change of tactic to try and clinch what could be the first of two trophies this year.

Northern Counties' captaincy team Will Ford and David Dugdale plan a change in the field.
Northern Counties' captaincy team Will Ford and David Dugdale plan a change in the field.

"Last weekend, we won and we learned a lot, and I learned things I need to do differently as a captain or things I need to be more aware of," he added.

"I think I learned to trust my own decisions a bit more than I normally do, and back myself as a captain.

"Also, I probably need to have more of a plan than we went into the T20 final against Forres with.

"Forres batted tremendously in that final, and they put on a huge partnership between Pal Dhami and Al Farr.

"It was almost impossible to defend against them with only two people outside the ring, there's not a lot you can do, but looking back we shouldn't have been afraid to take the pace off the ball and experiment a bit more with the opening bowlers.

"We just went with the four who would normally open the bowling, but we could have given the batters something more to think about."


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