Survival now the main focus for Durham – Breese

Gareth Breese.
Gareth Breese.
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GARETH Breese has warned Durham to forget about their cup final at Lord’s – and instead focus on today’s vital game at the famous venue.

Durham’s semi-final win over Notts in the Royal London One Day Cup on Saturday set up a showpiece final at the home of cricket on September 20.

But Durham must put that to the back of their minds and concentrate on their bid to stay in the top flight of the LV County Championship – beginning with their game against Middlesex which starts today, ironically at Lord’s.

Durham will also face Northamptonshire in the four-day game before the final against Warwickshire, and veteran spinner Breese says Durham will look to get their priorities right.

“What we have to do now is be focused on the most important task ahead of us, which is avoiding relegation from Division One in the County Championship,” he said.

“We’ve built up a proud record of staying in the division without being demoted for a long time now.

“And we want to maintain that – especially with having been champions just a year ago.

“It has been very, very tough for us this season.

“And I think we’ve been very unlucky to have had the amount of injuries we have had, and to key players too.”

The experienced bowler accepts it might be impossible to stop thoughts straying occasionally towards Lord’s.

But he says Durham have to use that as an incentive, rather than a distraction, as they look to avoid the drop.

“I think in the back of their minds the lads are bound to have the knowledge they have a Lord’s final to look forward to.

“We have to think about how important it is to try avoiding relegation before it comes around.

“That way we can fully enjoy it.”