Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Harmison: Terriers Can Pass Their Biggest Test

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Harmison: Terriers Can Pass Their Biggest Test

Article excerpt

Byline: By Luke Edwards

Steve Harmison has urged Bedlington Terriers not to choke in the second leg of their FA Vase semi-final against Sudbury.

Harmison travelled down to Suffolk for the first leg last weekend and suggested a number of the Bedlington side had been unhappy with their performances in the 2-1 defeat.

The England Test star has always taken a keen interest in the fortunes of the Terriers as his uncle Mel is head coach and his brother James is the club's first choice centre-back.

And, having seen them slip up in crucial games in the past, most notably in 1999 when they lost to Tiverton Town in the Vase final, the Durham fast bowler is hoping history does not repeat itself this afternoon at Welfare Park.

He said: "I've always followed the club closely and trained with them during the winter when I was younger. They've got a history of good cup runs, but they also have a history of letting themselves down in important games.

"I don't think that will be the case this time, though. I travelled back on the team bus last weekend and there were a few people sitting there knowing they had not performed to their potential in the first leg. There was a determination to put that right in the second leg.

"We didn't play well, but, having said that, a 2-1 result isn't a bad one. Sudbury looked a decent side but if Bedlington play to their potential they should be too strong for them. It would be great to see them make it to the final."

Harmison was a talented footballer for Ashington in his youth, but gave up the sport to concentrate on cricket when he was given a full-time contract by Durham.

He explained: "It's impossible to say if I'd have been lining up alongside James if I hadn't played cricket for Durham. I mean, at 17, when I signed for Durham, who could have predicted that I'd be playing Test cricket for England? …

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