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Team spirit gives Stratford winning momentum, says Urquhart


JAMES Urquhart believes a positive spirit within Stratford’s dressing room will be key to continuing their excellent start to the season.

The third-placed Panthers seek a fifth win in seven matches in Birmingham League Division Three when they face Stafford visitors Milford Hall at Swans Nest Lane today (Saturday, 12noon start).

Though Stratford’s squad has a new look this season under skipper Chris Whelan, Urquhart says the team ethic is shining through.

“We are more of a team this year,” said the off-spinning all-rounder, who took a match-winning 5-29 in last weekend’s four-wickets victory against Whitchurch,

“That’s a big reason we are where we are.

“It’s a more relaxed changing room environment. We don’t feel we are under any pressure. Because of the league restructuring in the Birmingham League, with no promotion or relegation in Divisions Two or Three, then we know we can’t go up or down.

“We just want to enjoy our cricket. We’ve set high standards in the last few weeks and we want to keep positive.”

Today’s contest pits third from top versus third from bottom, with Milford losing to Redditch last weekend.

But Urquhart accepts Stratford will face a new test as one of the ‘teams to beat’, having climbed into the top three.

Stratford Seconds travel to Dorridge in the 2nd XI Division Two South.

In the Cotswold Hills League Premier Division, table-toppers Wellesbourne entertain third-placed Long Itchington in the match of the day while second-placed Norton Lindsey are at home to Exhall & Wixford.

Shipston-on-Stour also have home advantage when they face Lapworth, who first defeat of the season last week cost them top spot.

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