Pearce: Purbrook can win survival race

Jack Cunningham, right, was in form last weekend
Jack Cunningham, right, was in form last weekend
Kyle Abbott celebrates a wicket today against champions Essex. Picture: Neil Marshall

Abbott puts champions to the sword

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It’s crunch time for Purbrook and fellow strugglers Fareham & Crofton as they clash in Hampshire League division one tomorrow at the Heath.

The hosts are propping up the rest but had their confidence boosted after beating Gosport Borough last weekend.

It was a huge lift for skipper Sean Figgins and his men.

Purbrook had previously failed to register a victory this summer.

Figgins felt the result had been coming.

They must now prove they can use the momentum to spark a run of results.

Fareham & Crofton will have other ideas, though.

And Purbrook will be missing all-rounder Sam Pearce.

He’s unavailable for the rest of the summer because of his pre-season football commitments with the Hawks.

But the 26-year-old believes the team will continue last weekend’s form and stay up in his absence.

‘That was a massive first win for us and I am sure the team will kick on from it,’ said Pearce.

‘It has been coming for a while because we have been competitive all season.

‘There have been a number of games we should have won before but couldn’t quite get over the line.

‘Now our largely-young side have seen they can win and it will boost the confidence in the squad.

‘The important thing is to follow it up with another success against Fareham & Crofton.’

In the win over Borough, Aussie opening batsman Jack Cunningham (44) provided a solid base.

Purbrook then showed signs of wobbling at 50 for three.

But Figgins weighed in with a strong captain’s innings to steady the ship.

He helped his side finish on 227 for eight off their 50 overs.

Borough’s No3 batsman Simon Creal (44) looked a danger man.

But for the first time this season Purbrook held their nerve for a 20-run success.

Pearce (three for 42) and Cunningham (two for 38) were the pick of the bowlers.

The contribution of Pearce is certainly going to be a big miss for Purbrook.

Pearce added: ‘With Alan Mengham and Graham McCoy back in the side it meant we had a little bit more experience which made a difference.

‘Sean batted brilliantly against a good Borough bowling attack and that is the second time he’s done that for us this season.

‘It is a tough league but I have every confidence that we possess enough quality in the club to survive.

‘Two or three wins on the bounce can make a huge difference.

‘It is important right through the club that we stay at this level if we can.

‘Fareham & Crofton are having a tough time at the moment.

‘We know what that’s like because we have been there.

‘If we can get on top early and put the pressure on them then that might rock their confidence a bit more.

‘Unfortunately, my season is now over because of the football.’