NEWTOWN and Alberbury open their Henshalls Shropshire League One campaigns next weekend.

Due to ongoing lockdown restrictions and different rules on either side of the Welsh border, Newtown will start their season on May 1.

Following the frustrations of a lockdown impacted 2020 the clubs both return to a traditional first division format.

The club took part in reduced over local friendlies last season and while the club enjoyed the challenge, Newtown are relishing a return to league cricket this summer.

Ally Laird remains at the helm of Newtown with Ian Hancocks the skipper of the club’s second string after Richard Smout stepped down with the side competing in the fifth division this summer.

Laird said: “Our ambition is to built on winning our side of the division last season and to look for promotion this season.

“We have a strong squad and we will look to everybody to contribute throughout the season.”

Once again the talented Anthony brothers, John and Dave, will be key with bat and ball while Twm Foulkes, Craig Davies and Ricky Davies will also likely be key men for the Recreation Ground club

Meanwhile second team skipper Ian Hancocks hopes to develop the club’s emerging talent.

Hancocks said: “We aim to to be competitive in every game and for some of the younger lads to keep developing ready to make the step up to the first team in the next couple of years.”

Meanwhile there has been change at the helm of Alberbury.

Sam Morris has stepped up to lead the Pecknall Farm side this summer with Charlie Bourne stepping down.

Oliver Corbett has also replaced Morris as vice-captain.

The club’s second string will also be in fifth division action this summer with Ed Roberts at the helm with Rob Owen his vice-captain while the Sunday League side will be captained by James Lee with the support of Neil Savage.

Morris said: “We hope to finish mid-table and have a stable, consistent team.

“We are excited to get started, we will certainly be underdogs and a lot of people think we’ll struggle but we’re determined to prove them wrong.”