Heart and Saul net Fareham victory

Luke Gould. Picture: Allan Hutchings (121843-691)
Luke Gould. Picture: Allan Hutchings (121843-691)
Kyle Abbott Picture: Neil Marshall

Hampshire and rain frustrate Middlesex

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Fareham & Crofton captain Luke Gould saluted his young guns after they romped to a 75-run Hampshire League division one victory over United Services at Bath Lane.

Nineteen-year-old Zimbabwean recruit Campbell Saul (61), along with the home-grown talent of Sam Stoddart (64), laid the foundations for a second-consecutive win.

‘We are still in the process of rebuilding and replacing some experienced figures who have stepped down’ said Gould.

‘The average age of our team most weeks is only around 21 years of age.

‘They have produced some excellent team performances and there is plenty for us to build on.

‘There is no pressure on us to go for promotion and our aim again is to consolidate in this league.

‘In a few years time when we have a bit more experience will be the time we want to go up.’

Saul looks to be an extremely handy acquistion coming from Peterhouse School – the same stable as England’s newest adition Gary Ballance.

The teenager, who opened his account with a 76 at Ventnor a couple of weeks ago, was again influential.

He shared a century second-wicket partnership with Stoddart and also got in the wickets.

‘Our top three batsmen did a lot of the hard work,’ said Gould.

‘You can tell Campbell has played a lot of good standard cricket back home. He is an elegant player who makes batting look easy.

‘Not only does he possess a solid cover drive he is also good off his legs.’

Stoddart and Tom Kent (22) gave Fareham a good start after being put into bat by Services.

Once Kent was dismissed Stoddart assumed the role of chief aggressor and was disappointed not to go on and claim a century.

The good platform gave Fareham’s big hitters freedom to push on.

Gould crashed 48 runs off 30 balls and 17-year-old Luke Cornish blasted 30 runs off 15 balls taking Fareham to 290 for nine off their 50 overs.

The skipper was then left wondering just what was going on when his brother Matt opened the bowling.

His first six balls went for 17 runs as Services got off to a flyer but the duo wrestled it back to take three wickets in the first 15 overs.

Despite the best efforts of Mark Toogood (46), Gary Hounsome (41), Adam White (40) and Matt Easton (45), the visitors soon found themselves behind the rate.

And with Campbell returning figures of four for 49, the victory was sealed.

‘It has been an enjoyable start,’ said Gould.