Sarisbury Athletic can still succeed in their quest for promotion from Southern Electric division two – according to injured skipper David Banks.
The former Totton & Eling all-rounder suffered a broken wrist in last weekend’s t20 Cup defeat at Bashley after colliding with a sightscreen.
The injury has ruled him out for the rest of the campaign, leaving Archie Norris to assumed command.
He will skipper the side for the first time in tomorrow’s derby clash at Hambledon.
But Banks has admitted his disappointment at missing what promises to be a thrilling climax to the season.
He said: ‘I’m gutted because it was all shaping up to be a good end to the season. I’d just started scoring some runs as well!
‘But the guy hit it to long-off, I jumped up but piled into the metal sight screen.
‘It could have been a lot worse to be honest. At least it was a clean break.
‘Archie Norris will take over the captaincy. He’s never done it but he’s got a good cricketing brain and has been my vice-captain this year.
‘He’s been around a long time and he’s quite keen, so I’m sure he will do well. There are a few others around to help him out, so I don’t see it being a major problem.’
While Sarisbury are sitting pretty in second place, Hambledon have had a worrying slide in recent weeks and went down by just one run at Hook & Newnham Basics to leave them fourth from bottom.
‘We have lost our past two games but last week we produced a great display of Hambledon spirit at Hook,’ said skipper Dan Hewitt.
‘It was one of the best matches I have played in.
‘And while a title challenge is probably out of our reach now, if we keep turning in performances like that we will steer clear of the drop.
‘Sarisbury are definitely one of the more dangerous sides in our league but we have a bit of a point to prove after not giving a great account of ourselves at their place earlier this season.
‘We were six down for 30-odd and, although we fought back and gave them a scare in their reply, they ended up winning pretty well.
‘It will be a totally different game at the Ridge and we want to put in a good performance in front of our home crowd.’
Burridge’s hopes of division two success have come off the rails with two straight losses but they travel to Paultons bidding to end that run.
In the premier division, Havant host Bashley, while Ventnor visit Lymington.
Division three strugglers Gosport Borough attempt to secure a second straight win at Easton & Martyr Worthy after a fine win over Totton & Eling II last week.
Elsewhere, Havant II are away at league leaders Liphook & Ripsley, Portsmouth need a win as they entertain Bournemouth II and United Services will fancy their chances at lowly South Wilts II.