BEAMINSTER host fellow promoted side Witchampton on the opening day of the County Division One season on Saturday (1.30pm).

Ross Baker’s men came up from Division Two in 2019 but were unable to play a full season last year due to Covid-19.

And the Memorial Ground outfit begin against their familiar foes eager to make a good start to the campaign.

Baker told the Bridport News: “It’s great to be back in Division One – it’s been quite a few years, so we’re looking forward to getting started.

“It’s going to be a challenging season because it’s a step up in class. We’ll give it our best shot and look forward to some competitive games.”

An unusually dry April has led some to believe batsmen will prosper this summer.

Baker said: “The warm-up games have been decent wickets – particularly at home.

“We had a friendly against Cattistock and the ball was flying through, really good carry, good bounce.

“We’ve had some quite high-scoring pre-season games. Hopefully it will be different from normal because it’s low and slow and hard work for the batting teams.

“They should be entertaining games because they can be slow and hard to get going in May.”

Beaminster have signed promising opening bowler James Edmonds in the winter, but have lost the services of Dave Persey and Rich Runyard, while wicketkeeper Lewis Keenan has joined North Perrott.

On Edmonds, Baker added: “He trained with us last year and didn’t play because of Covid.

“He’s committed to this season but we haven’t got our overseas player (Dan Swift).

“Lewis did warn us he was going to university and he can’t commit to every week, so he’s going to play for North Perrott Seconds.

“That’s his decision, but we obviously want to build a squad of players who are committed and play every week.”

Beaminster: Crawford, Baker, Jones, Park, A Moss, W Moss, Hollely, Edmonds, H Everitt, Bareham, AN Other.