Marko determined to retain trophy crown

Market Overton Captain Paul Thwaites holds aloft 20/20 trophy
Market Overton Captain Paul Thwaites holds aloft 20/20 trophy

MARKET Overton begin the defence of their Rutland Twenty20 crown at North Luffenham this evening.

Eight teams have entered the 2011 competition including timers Barrowden and a 1st and 2nd XI from Uppingham.

But after last weekend’s league victory against Oakham, Marko will again be among the favourites.

Paul Thwaites, who captained the side last summer, said: “The Twenty20 competition means a lot.

“We played Uppingham in the final last year and the crowd that we got was fantastic. There must have been more than 100 watching.

“If we had the time I’d love a league of Rutland teams.”

New boys Barrowden begin with a trip to Oakham, where the hosts are holding a fundraising barbecue.

Barrowden skipper Chris White says his team will be underdogs going into tonight’s first match.

He said: “We thought it would be a good experience. We just want to have some fun.

“We’ve got a very young, very small squad that can’t compete at the same level as some of the bigger sides.

“We’re just hoping to give a good account of ourselves and if some of the lads do well, they might be able to build on that for the rest of the season which can only be good for us.

“I think you have to look at Oakham and Uppingham as favourites. With the squads they have and the fact they can’t meet until the final.”

This evening’s games begin at 6pm.