Easton calls on Services to hit ground running

United Services captain Matt Easton    Picture: Allan Hutchings
United Services captain Matt Easton Picture: Allan Hutchings
Fidel Edwards bowled a six over stint of two for 15 Picture: Neil Marshall

Edwards doubles up to leave Hampshire in the hunt

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United Services captain Matt Easton is relishing the challenge as his team make their return to Hampshire League division one cricket at Andover II tomorrow.

Services have bounced straight back up into the senior division after being relegated the previous season.

Easton feels his team are better equipped this time around after the success of last year.

‘We want to make sure we hit the ground running and carry on where we left off last season,’ he said.

‘I am looking for us to achieve a top-half finish and if we keep playing positive cricket must have a good chance of doing so.

‘The priority however is to consolidate and make sure we remain at this level.’

Easton is pleased to have top-order batsman Mark Toogood available on a more regular basis.

He is also hoping to attract a few talented local students who have expressed an interest in joining.

Kieron Dunstan is optimistic his Portsmouth & Southsea team can launch a bid for the title this season.

The team has been together for a number of years and the captain hopes that consistency can finally pay off.

‘It is time we did the business,’ said Dunstan.

‘We finished well at the back end of last season when we dominated our opponents.’

Dunstan is looking forward to returning to action after missing the second half of last season with a damaged shoulder.

Ventnor II are the visitors to the St James Hospital ground for the opening game.

Purbrook have an international flavour about them with the addition of two Afghans and a New Zealander to their side.

Captain Martin Lee recruited Hamid Khan and Sameen Mahboob from Peartree after meeting the former in a taxi back to Portsmouth.

They are joined by 19-year-old left-arm spinner Ben Michell from New Zealand who played in the Gloucestershire League last season.

All-rounder Brad Mengham has also returned to the club after a spell at Southern League Waterlooville.

‘There are a few new faces around the place and have lost a couple of the old stagers,’ said Purbrook captain Lee.

Purbrook start their campaign with a trip to Sarisbury II.

Fareham & Crofton bring the curtain up on their season with a home game against New Milton II.