Hudson keeping cool as Waterlooville move into driving seat

Waterlooville have title success in their sights now

JON HUDSON is backing Waterlooville to do the business as they head into the final two games at the top of Southern League division three.

Their six-wicket win at Fawley saw them leapfrog over Basingstoke & North Hants and back to the summit.

The experienced Hudson feels his team have what it takes to stay there, take the title and win promotion.

‘We need 20 points, which is one win, to make sure of promotion,’ said Hudson.

‘Our last two games are against bottom of the league, Hursley Park and then Basingstoke & North Hants.

‘It would be nice to go into the final game knowing we are already promoted.

‘Having said that we won’t be taking Hursley Park lightly, even if they are already relegated.

‘There will be no pressure on them and sometimes teams play their best cricket when that is the case.

‘We have to make sure we take nothing for granted and give it our all.’

Hosts Fawley won the toss and opted to bat first.

They made a steady start putting on 59 for the first wicket.

But they had trouble getting Sam Hillman away though and he conceded just 21 runs off his 10 overs.

Hillman failed to take any wickets but his tight spell kept the reins on the home side.

Hudson praised the efforts of Hillman who has been keeping opponents in check all season.

‘Sam hasn’t got as many wickets as he would have liked this summer but has bowled really well,’ said Hudson.

‘Because he has kept things so tight at the top he has made it easier for us bowlers following him.

‘Myself and Archie Reynolds are the leading wicket takers but we wouldn’t have taken a lot of them if it hadn’t been for Sam’s efforts.’

Waterlooville were also encouraged by 15-year-old debutant Jake Pearce who took a couple of wickets with his off-spin.

The Portsmouth Grammar School pupil has only become available in the closing stages of the season.

Farley were restricted to 175 for eight and James Scutt (82) and James Hortle (33) knocked off 55 from the first 10 overs to keep Waterlooville in the driving seat.

It was a particularly brilliant effort from Scutt who has also taken on the wicket-keeping duties this season.

‘It is a big ask to keep wicket for 50 overs and then go out to open the batting,’ said Hudson.

‘James has done a real good job and produced a couple of match-winning innings for us.

‘He loves his cricket, gives it 100 per cent and is a great leader.’

There was a slight hiccup when Waterlooville lost two wickets for as many runs.

But skipper Max Goddard (26 not out) and Hudson easily guided the team to victory.

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