Easton targets more of the same for Services

Matt Easton. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Matt Easton. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Shahid Afridi. Picture: Neil Marshall

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MATT EASTON wants more of the same from United Services Portsmouth as they start their Hampshire League division one season at Rowledge II.

Services finished mid-table last season on their return to the top flight and the captain wants to see them maintain that consolidation.

‘We have lost a couple of key players but apart from them we have managed to keep the core of our side together,’ said Easton.

‘At the same time we have picked up a couple of talented and capable cricketers from the university.

‘Our aim is still to enjoy our cricket while being competitive at the same time.

‘Like most teams we would like to get a few early wins under our belt to set the ball rolling.

‘It will be a case of assessing where we are at the end of May and taking it from there.

‘By then teams have a better idea of where they are heading.

‘Rowledge are a capable side, our games against them are usually evenly matched.’

Tom Kent believes Fareham & Crofton will benefit from the added experience they have in their side this season.

The return of experienced players, Luke Gould and Dan Reader, will strengthen the young squad that finished seventh in the league last season.

They face a tough start against Ryde at Bath Recreation Lane.

‘We had a very young side last season with not many in the side above the age of 21,’ said Kent.

‘The return of a couple of players should give us a little more solidity.

‘With other players returning from schools and university cricket there should be good competition for places.’

The home side have been encouraged by the pre-season form shown by Sam Stoddart.

Fareham & Crofton: Kent, Frost, Stoddart, Wimble, Kissane, Reader, White, Southon, L Gould, M Gould, Dix

Bishop’s Waltham have a new captain, Sam Medhurst, as they open up their division one campaign against OT & Romsey II at Albany Road.

Vice captain Dan Wheeler knows the team need to get some good early results after struggling early in 2016.

He said: ‘We are hoping to make a better start than last season.

‘If we can get some early momentum then we can kick on from there.’

Elsewhere in division one Burridge II travel to Ropley for their opening match.

In division two Bedhampton host Parley at Bidbury Mead.

And Portchester entertain Winton in division three south.