Waverley set sights on national glory

Alex Marchant. Picture: Malcolm Wells
Alex Marchant. Picture: Malcolm Wells
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Southsea Waverley have their sights set on glory as they prepare to travel to Ringwood on Sunday.

Captain Alex Marchant leads his side into battle in the southern section final of the men’s National Club Two Fours competition.

They take on Wellworthy, from Dorset, with the aim of sealing a place in the national finals at Worthing on August 21 and 22.

Marchant and his men have already secured their ninth-straight Portsmouth & District League division one crown.

They crushed Vospers 16-0 on Friday night to comfortably finish the job.

However, it is the pursuit of national success that is taking centre stage for the powerhouses of Portsmouth club bowling.

Skipper Marchant said: ‘We won the league quite easily but it has been an up-and-down season.

‘We lost a few games we wouldn’t normally expect to lose.

‘There have been many other big matches because we have done so well in other competitions.

‘After you travel to a big game against high-quality opposition, it can be hard to keep the focus and the levels up when you come back for league matches.

‘It’s not been our best year in the league but it has probably been our most successful year overall in terms of the other competitions.’

Marchant heads the eight-strong Waverley side going to Ringwood.

John Biggs, Billy McGubbin, Matthew Marchant, Barry Starks, Gary Starks and Mark Hammond are also playing.

Waverley also reached the last four of the County Club Championship.

But their interest in that was halted by a strong Boscombe Cliff side at the semi-final stage last Sunday.

Boscombe went on to win the trophy – beating Southampton Sports Centre in the final – to make it five successive county club titles for them.

It was disappointing for Waverley.

The tables were turned after they had got the better of their rivals in two other big national competitions this summer.

Marchant’s men conquered Boscombe on their way to Sunday’s final of the National Club Two Fours.

They also recorded a dominant 4-1 win over the same opposition in the fifth round of the national Top Club competition.

That victory sets up a last-16 tie with Wiltshire outfit Wootton Bassett on Saturday, August 24 at Banister Park, Southampton.

If Waverley win there they will reach the last eight of that prestigious competition and head to finals weekend at Leamington on September 14 and 15.

Meanwhile in singles, Waverley bowler Mark Hammond has been crowned county champion.

He has now secured a place in the last 32 of the national singles to be played at Worthing on Thursday, August 22.