Andrew Britton admits he found his return to representative cricket ‘hard’ but is determined to take his game up another level as he goes into the busiest weekend of the season so far.
With the first senior inter-provincial of the season for seven years being played in Cork on Sunday, Britton, in his first season with Limavady, faces one of the longest trips for the South v North game, but at least it is being broken up by the Roesiders’ ClubTurf Ulster Cup game against North Down tomorrow.
The clash at Comber between the defending NCU league champions and last year’s North West runners up is the match of the day as the first round of the Ulster Cup, traditionally a Sunday competition, is played for the first time on a Saturday.
Britton, who had match figures of one for 74 from 16 overs in Ireland A’s record-breaking win against Gloucestershire Seconds during the week, knows it will not get any easier this weekend.
“It’s been a long time since my last game for Ireland (his only cap in July 2009) and it was hard returning to a three-day game and having to bowl 14 overs on the first day with a quick outfield,” said Britton. “But it’s great to play in the big games and I'm really looking forward to the inter-pro on Sunday.
“It will be a challenge bowling to the likes of Kevin O’Brien, John Mooney and Trent Johnston but they make you push your game.”
First up, though, he has the little matter of the North Down batting line-up to face and Britton, with past experience of bowling at Comber, knows that will be just as difficult.
“I’ve played there a couple of times before, with Fox Lodge, and lost both times. It’s a good track and whoever bats best will win,” he predicts. “They are a strong side on paper but we are still looking for consistency this season.
“We need a better start with the bat but we have won our last three games, so hopefully we are finding a bit of form at the right time and we can push on with another win on Saturday and keep our current run going.”
After two defeats in their first three league games, Limavady’s hat-trick of wins came in the space of four days in three different competitions last weekend including a Senior Cup win over his former team-mates from Ballymagorry.
He added: “We play them again in the league on Sunday but I’ll miss that as I’ll be in Cork, but the Foxes will be happy with me not playing.”
Having joined Limavady in one of the major signings of the close season, the 24 year-old, who started his career at Donemana, is back among familiar familiar faces with captain Andrew Riddles and Decker Curry just two of the former men from The Holm now on Roeside.
“It’s a good atmosphere and everybody is determined to do well,” adds Britton. “The training is much harder and Decker and Aggy have been great and the club have made clear they want me to push hard to get back into the Ireland side.”
A big weekend for club and province will do his prospects no harm at all.