STALWART Dave Pullen believes home comforts will help Knighton-on-Teme Cricket Club in Saturday’s battle against table-topping Ledbury.

It will be the first home game of the season for the villagers, who were thrashed by 114 runs in their maiden defeat at Almeley last weekend.

Knighton had topped the GB Liners Marches League Division Two untilk last Saturday’s humbling at Almeley’s Spearsmarsh Common ground.

“We had a weakened side with Matt James, our captain, best batter and wicketkeeper was not available, while John Griffiths was injured,” said club spokesman Dave Pullen.

“Jack Brain was also away – he had to go to Germany to see one of his mates.”

He added: “Mark Evans was our captain for the first time and it was a tough job.

“We used eight bowlers to try something different but it did not come off.”

Andy Duggan (65), Mike Batson (52) and Rob Williams (48) weighed in as Almeley piled up 253-4 from 45 overs.

Sam Siviter (2-63), Andrew Hipkiss (1-28) and Robbie Farrar (1-32) were among the wickets for a depleted Knighton.

Opener John Humphries top-scored with 30 for Knighton and Jack Kitchen struck his first-ever sixes in his 23 but the visitors were dismissed for 139.

Pullen said: “It’s a very unusual ground at Almeley and bowlers have to run uphill at one end and down at the other.

“Almeley batted very well and they put on 100 runs before losing their first wicket.

“It wasn’t a bad game and Almeley were a competitive bunch.”

Pullen is looking forward to this Saturday’s match with Ledbuy.

“Ledbury are a tough side and I know a lot of their players,” he said.

“Hopefully, we can put up a better display and I am sure being at home will lift everyone.

Dave’s son, Dan Pullen, is not playing this weekend because he’s away on a stag party.

But Tom Whistance should be returning to action.

Pullen added: “When we got promoted last season, Ledbury promised that we would be more tested this year and I am sure they will be right.”