Ankers encouraged by step-up

Rick Ankers
Rick Ankers
United Services vs Sarisbury II at United Services Cricket Ground, Burnaby Road

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Rick Ankers believes Burridge have coped with the step-up in standard in the Southern Electric Premier League premier division.

The Burridge skipper led his side to promotion from division one last term and they have picked up two wins in their first four games in the top flight.

While the side were on the receiving end of a heavy defeat at South Wilts last weekend, Ankers still saw enough positives to take into this weekend’s home clash with Ventnor and Sunday’s t20 Cup trip to Tichborne Park.

And he was given encouragement from an opponent who cracked a match-winning century.

Ankers said: ‘We lost the toss and they rode their luck early on but after that they batted beautifully.

‘It was an outstanding innings from Tom Morton and the others around him.

‘We were quite comfortable when Derek Kenway and Jamie Richards were batting nicely but then we lost wickets regularly.

‘But we didn’t have a great deal of luck and we took a lot of positives out of it.

‘A few of the lads were chatting with Tom after the game.

‘They were talking about trying to stay up this season and he disagreed – he thinks we will be in the top half of the division.’

Ankers added: ‘I’m pleased with the way we’ve adjusted to the step up.

‘Our aim at the start of the season was to consolidate our position and learn a bit more about how to win games at this level.

‘The difference with stepping up a level is always about the number of good players that are in each team.

‘Playing in Hampshire League, for example, you will get one or two good cricketers in a side.

‘As you go up to divisions three and two, you get four, five or six good players.

‘Then by the time you get into the top division, there are seven, eight or nine really good players.

‘And the top teams in the top division have 10 or 11 really good players.

‘There are one or two bowlers who stand out from what we were facing last season.

‘Overall, it’s a better standard as you would expect.’