Services hope to prove Toogood for OTs

Mark Toogood. Picture Ian Hargreaves (170757-1)
Mark Toogood. Picture Ian Hargreaves (170757-1)

Fareham’s young guns still have much to offer

No play was possible at Drayton Park, where Hampshire League division four south title rivals  Railway Triangle and Emsworth were set to do battle. Picture: Vernon Nash

Torrential rain claims second week of cricket

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United Services are boosted by the return of a trio of experienced players for their crucial Hampshire League division one contest against OTs & Romsey II at Burnaby Road.

Mark Toogood, Tom May and captain Matt Easton make their timely reappearance as Services continue their fight to avoid relegation.

The hosts know it is a game they need to win if they are to keep their survival hopes alive.

With four games left to play, time is running out for the club who currently occupy a relegation spot third from bottom of the table.

Easton reckons his troops must win half of their remaining fixtures to give themselves hope of avoiding the drop into division two.

‘We will need to win at least two of our last four games to stand any chance,’ said the skipper.

‘Having Mark and Tom back in the side will make a big difference to our batting.

‘Mark is an experienced and powerful batsman who can score his runs quickly.

‘He can be very destructive and is capable of giving us a solid platform at the start.

‘It is not just his batting that is influential because he is one of the senior members of the team.

‘He certainly brings a fighting spirit to the proceedings.

‘Tom is a very good keeper-batsman and vocal with it.

‘He is another player who doesn’t allow himself to get bogged down when he is batting.

‘His other quality is his positivity and his ability to talk his team-mates up.

‘It is nice to have the two of them alongside me because I can rely on them for any help needed.’

Despite knowing they are in a far-from-ideal situation – Services maintain the belief they can get themselves out of trouble.

‘Even if we win a couple of games, we may still have to rely on other results which is not ideal,’ added Easton.

‘But that is unavoidable because of the situation we are in.

‘We have the individuals in our squad who are capable of pulling it off but we need to have everyone firing on the same day.

‘All season we have been competitive and not far away from where we need to be.

‘It has been a case of just failing to get across the line in a number of games.

‘OTs is another tough game because they have been having a reasonable season.

‘Our remaining games are far from easy, so it would be good to win this one.

‘After the two-week break because of the weather, it will be a bit like starting again.

‘It was frustrating because we lost games to the weather we felt we could have done well in.

‘Now we will be treating it like a mini-league, where we need to win to stay up.

‘Everyone is positive and believes we can do it.’

United Services: Toogood, Croft, Hounsome, May, Easton, Parker, Gadd T, Gadd F, Lilley A, Lilley O, Colligan