Skipper questions Mariners’ top flight mettle

102641-06_bedhampton'Bedhampton v Waterlooville, Bidbury Mead.'Alex Shepherd bats for Waterlooville.'Pic Mick Young
102641-06_bedhampton'Bedhampton v Waterlooville, Bidbury Mead.'Alex Shepherd bats for Waterlooville.'Pic Mick Young
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CAPTAIN Stuart Gardner admitted Bedhampton Mariners may face a struggle to maintain their division one status after losing their first three matches.

A thumping 184-run defeat at the hands of Waterlooville exposed the Mariners’ lack of depth, leaving them in the bottom three.

‘It was as bad a day of cricket I have experienced for a long time,’ said Gardner.

‘Waterlooville didn’t have to play that well to beat us and we were awful.

‘The way we batted we couldn’t have chased down even half of what they scored.

‘I have concerns about our lack of depth.

‘We have to wonder whether the club is still big enough to play at this level.

‘These are tough times and it is going to be a battle.

‘Losing six players from last season hasn’t helped.

‘And at the moment I am struggling to get 11 players for next week.’

Mariners didn’t help their cause by failing to take their chances after putting Ville into bat.

Ville opener Alex Shepherd (88) was dropped three times and also survived a stumping chance.

Bedhampton were made to pay as Matt Charman helped put on a third-wicket partnership of over 100 runs.

Ville’s Max Goddard and Sam Hillman then launched a late charge as any hopes Mariners had of staying in the contest evaporated.

The pair added another 100 runs in the last 10 overs.

Goddard fired 51 at a good pace and Hillman blasted 42 off just 26 deliveries.

In reply, Mariners offered little resistance.

Opening batsman Dan Clark was highest scorer with 42 as the home side were bowled out for 116.

In contrast, Ville look equipped to launch a bid for promotion.

‘To score 300 runs two weeks running is very pleasing,’ said captain Jon Hudson.

‘I was surprised when Bedhampton asked us to bat first on a hot day and on a good wicket.

‘At 40 for two the game was in the balance but Bedhampton lacked depth in their bowling.

‘Alex Shepherd will admit he was lucky to score his 88 and is still to find his form.

‘When he does opponents will have to look out.

‘Sam Hillman and Lloyd Williams bowled well for us up top and reduced Mariners to 15 for three early on.

‘Once they were left chasing the game Max Goddard came on and took four wickets.

‘For us it is another good win and I have to be happy with the start we have made.’