Dons in deep relegation trouble

James Vince. Picture: Sarah Standing (170455-8793)

Vince relishing ‘second chance’

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James Scutt admitted he was embarrassed by Hambledon’s batting woes after they were skittled out for just 70 in their Southern Electric division one defeat to Andover.

The stand-in Dons skipper, who took charge in the absence of the unavailable Dan Hewitt, didn’t mince his words.

He saw the Ridge Meadow outfit reduced to 26 for six at one stage, with only Cam Prentice (30) and Roscoe Thattil (12) reaching double figures.

Chasing second-from-bottom Andover’s 138 for eight, Hambledon fell well short.

They now look in real danger of relegation. But after questions over their pitch this season, Scutt did not look for excuses.

He said: ‘The pitch was not to blame.

‘We just imploded with the bat – it was shocking.

‘It’s embarrassing and it’s disgraceful to get bowled out for 70.

‘But it’s been going on for so long that everyone has lost total confidence with the bat.

‘We’re in big trouble now. I think we need two wins from four tough games to be sure of staying up but we might not need that many.’

At the other end of division one, Burridge moved one point clear at the top from Sarisbury Athletic after both sides claimed wins.

An unbeaten 80 from Geoff Dods inspired Burridge to a 60-run win over Liphook & Ripsley.

Ricky Rawlins made 81 as Sarisbury edged a tight game with Hartley Wintney by two wickets.

In division two, United Services came unstuck as Totton & Eling II were strengthened by first-teamers in their key relegation battle.

The Totton side included first-team opening bowlers James Haggaty (four for 34) and Dylan Augustus (two for 42 and 31 with the bat) as US went down by 56 runs, chasing Totton’s 193.

Portsmouth’s march towards the division three title took another important step after a six-wicket win over Basingstoke & North Hants II.

After Vickram Dawson (three for 22) had helped restrict Basingstoke to 198, Liam Duffield (79) and Scott Curwood (67) then led the way with the bat.

Rivals Havant II chalked up a convincing win over doomed 10-man Portsmouth & Southsea as Andy Galliers’ men won by nine wickets.

Portsmouth & Southsea’s cause was not helped when youngster Ollie Perrin left the ground before the start, apparently unhappy at his lowly batting position – although he cited a bout of food poisoning – and his side were then bowled out for 158.

Andy Gorvin (79 not out) and Simon Loat (61 not out) then shared a 149-run partnership to seal the win with almost 20 overs to spare.

In the premier division, Havant had too much for a Hampshire Academy side who included Michael Bates (60) playing as a batsman.

While he left wicketkeeping duties to Alex Bass, Bates helped his side to 260 for nine as Stuart Ransley (three for 32) starred with the ball for Havant.

But captain Richard Hindley (68), Chris Morgan (33) and Ben Walker (30) ensured Havant got the win.

But the title looks well beyond them now after another South Wilts victory.

Second-placed Ventnor may still be considered as dark horses after a 45-run win over Bournemouth.

Wicketkeeper Chris Ridley made a vital 61 and Travis Head (58) also did well before they fell to 113 for six.

But Jamie Miller (38) helped them post 233 all out, before Mark Holmes (five for 59) bowled Bournemouth out for 188.