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Linton Granta ready for Kershaw 30 Year Senior Cup to get under way

‘We’re in it, so let’s try to win it’ – that’s the message from co-manager Ben De’ath as his Linton Granta side prepare to enter the Kershaw 30 Year Senior Cup.

Following the decision to scrap a second successive league campaign due to the impact of Covid-19, the Cambridgeshire County League has launched three separate cup competitions to provide teams with the chance to get some football under their belts, having been in hibernation since December.

All tournaments will begin with a group phase – where team plays each other once – with those at the top advancing through to the quarter-finals.

Linton Granta co managers Ben De'ath (left) and Harry O'Connor. Picture: Clive Pearson
Linton Granta co managers Ben De'ath (left) and Harry O'Connor. Picture: Clive Pearson

Linton have been drawn alongside fellow Premier Division outfit West Wratting, with games against Fordham, Hundon, Newmarket Town Reserves and Lakenheath Reserves to come after Saturday’s opener at home against lower-league Isleham United (3pm).

De’ath is expecting tough games right throughout the group stage, but he is hopeful his side can advance into the knockout rounds and beyond.

“The big thing for everyone is that this gets people out playing football again, which helps physically and mentally,” he said.

“We want to enjoy it, but at the same time if we are in it, we want to try to do all that we can to win it.

“It’s a tough group. We’ve got reserve sides in there and you never if they are going to play some first-team players. Isleham were doing very well in the league below and it looks like they score a lot of goals.

“Hundon have plenty of Haverhill links, Fordham had a good season and of course we know a lot about Wratting, so there are going to be some real tests.

“If we can get out of the group, then we can see where it takes us. Once you hit the quarter-finals anything can happen in a cup competition.”

Linton prepared for this weekend’s clash against Isleham by recording a 3-1 win over Cambridge University Press last Saturday.

Andy Palmer, Dave Auger and new signing Sammy Whittaker were all on target on an afternoon in which De’ath was just pleased to have the group back together.

“It was excellent to be out there seeing the lads playing again,” he added. “I was speaking to the Cambridge manager and he was saying exactly the same thing.

“Considering the lads had not played for such a long time it was actually a game of high standard and played at a decent tempo.

“The lads had kept themselves in shape and got some decent minutes under their belt.

“It wasn’t the main thing on the day but it was nice to win, and that will hopefully set us up well for the next few weeks.”

Elsewhere on Saturday, Wratting will travel to Fordham while Hundon are set to entertain Lakenheath's second string.

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