Lancashire League: Friendly fire!

Lancashire Evening Telegraph

6 Jun 1997

AFTER wining and dining with Alan Dawson tonight, Meyrick Pringle will put friendship aside when Rishton tackle Nelson at Blackburn Road tomorrow. In fact, he says he will be trying up to 15 per cent harder than usual to inflict defeat on his great friend from South Africa's Western Province.

``I think that's always the way when you play against your fellow fast bowler,'' said 30-year-old Pringle who, like Dawson, plays for Western Province and took the younger man under his wing when Dawson first came into the side.

``There's a rivalry there between quickies.

``We would both like to get one up on the other.

``For example, when Desmond Haynes, who also plays for Western Province, comes up against Natal's Malcolm Marshall, both of them always put in more effort.

``They like to get the other out.

``That's the way it will be with me and Alan tomorrow.

``But when the match is over, all will be forgotten and we can be friends again!''

Their involvement adds extra spice to a match between two sides who have struggled to make an impact on the Lancashire League this season.

Defending champions Rishton currently lie in mid-table obscurity, having failed to find the necessary consistency to embark on a successful run in this season's competition. Nelson are third from the bottom, out of the Cup and fighting to avoid end-of-season flirtations with the wooden spoon. Though on paper, Rishton should therefore have the upper hand, Pringle's acquaintance with Dawson prevents him taking anything for granted.

``Alan has a very good away swinger,'' said Pringle.

``The ball we use here, where you can start swinging the ball after 15, 20, 25 overs, is not the same as the one we use back home.

``There we use what we call the kookaburra which will swing from the first ball. Alan has the in-swinger from the word go. We will have to be careful.''

Pringle admits that, when playing against Dawson on the golf course, he has to be careful too - careful to avoid losing vast sums of money.

``He just squeezes ahead of me usually,'' said Pringle, about their tussles at Marsden Park in Nelson. But I do manage to beat Billy Stelling (East Lancs professional and fellow South African)!''

It is another South African, however, with whom - in these parts anyway - Pringle is invariably compared.

Allan Donald took 106 wickets for Rishton last season as they marched towards a successful defense of their crown but Pringle maintains that he is not here to compete against Donald's accomplishments.

``Allan Donald is Allan Donald, I'm Meyrick Pringle - I can't be expected to bowl as quickly as him,'' added Pringle.

``I'm here to do a job for Rishton to the best of my ability and I intend to do that.

``We just need the luck to swing our way a bit. ``Hopefully last week when we beat Enfield was the start of it.

``With us seemingly out of all competitions, the guys were calmer and everybody was relaxed.

``Everything ran a lot smoother and hopefully it will remain that way.''

Elsewhere leaders Haslingden entertain Todmorden.

East Lancs have professional Billy Stelling back after injury when they go to Bacup.

Title-challenging Lowerhouse entertain Accrington, who have Peter Sleep as substitute professional for the weekend following the departure of Nathan Astle to Nottinghamshire.

Fixtures: Bacup v E Lancs, Church v Burnley, Colne v Rawtenstall, Enfield v Ramsbottom, Haslingden v Todmorden, Lowerhouse v Accrington, Rishton v Nelson.

Source: The Lancashire Evening Telegraph

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Date-stamped : 25 Feb1998 - 15:06