Locks Heath intend to maintain their push for the top of Hampshire League division one by heaping more early-season misery on winless Bedhampton at Warsash Road.
Home captain Jonny Richardson has been delighted with his side’s unbeaten start to the campaign but is expecting a tougher challenge from Bedhampton.
‘We are normally slow starters so it is good to get some early-season momentum for a change,’ said the skipper.
‘It is vital we keep it going because last year we were guilty of losing a couple of games at critical times.
‘Our first two wins have been comfortable but we know we will have to step it up against Bedhampton.
‘Even though they have lost both their games so far, their team includes players who are capable of getting big runs.’
Locks Heath have shown so far this season they are a solid unit and are capable of pushing for the title.
Last week they chased a target of 202 runs on a slow wicket for the loss of only three wickets, showing they are focused and keen to do well.
Newcomers Dave Bennett – an overseas seam bowler from Adelaide – and Matt Bashford have settled in well and given Locks Heath increased penetration in their bowling attack. The home side are without Chris Boyd, who is involved in a rugby play-off with Trojans, so Liam Moggeridge comes in to replace him.
‘We are definitely targeting a third consecutive win,’ said Richardson.
Bedhampton captain Stuart Gardner shrugged off his side’s poor start to the campaign and believes they are better than results suggest.
‘We had a weakened team out the first week,’ he said.
‘And last week we lost to a very good Purbrook team, when we slipped up at a few critical moments.
‘We dropped early catches and when we batted we went from 150 for three to 195 all out.
‘We need to show a bit more resilience in our batting.
‘I’m looking for an improvement and we are still aiming for a top-half-of-the-table finish.
‘When we are able to put out a full-strength team we can be a match for most sides in our league.
‘All we need to do is get off the ground, though that won’t be easy at Locks Heath.’
Overseas bowler Jack Young is still acclimatising himself to the English conditions and is hoping to celebrate taking his first English wicket.
The visitors are without Simon Hooley and Greg Hoolihan, who are both unavailable, and are replaced by Sam Woodgate and Ed Wilkes.
Locks Heath: Jonny Richardson, Scott Jones, Mike Boyd, Alex Richardson, Matt Bashford, Liam Moggeridge, Jack Paskins, Jamie Hill, Dave Bennett, Sam Reed, Dave Lemon
Bedhampton: Dan Clark, Ben De Jong, Brad Mengham, Martin Hovey, Stewart Gardiner, Micky Harding, Sam Woodgate, Ed Wilkes, Alex Gardiner, David McFawn, Jack Young