Things are looking up in Dons’ Land of the Giants

Hambledon pace bowlers Dave Williams, left, and Rupert Hetherington
Hambledon pace bowlers Dave Williams, left, and Rupert Hetherington
Jonny Bairstow, right, thanks skipper Eoin Morgan. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Hambledon could be accused of having their head in the clouds this season after last year’s promotion from Southern Electric Premier League division three.

But two new signings have lifted them to such new heights this term that the sky is the limit for their aspirations.

Fast bowling giants Dave Williams (6ft 6in) and Rupert Hetherington (6ft 7in) stand at a combined height of more than 13ft – a fearsome proposition for opposition batsmen.

And while Hetherington may just have inched ahead of his team-mate in the height stakes, the Australian overseas player has nudged ahead in the bowling statistics as the healthy battle of one-upmanship between the pair continues.

Wiiliams has 12 wickets to his name at an average of 16.83 this term, after his season-long switch from St George in Sydney.

And he clearly has some pedigree, hailing from the same club as Aussie cricketing legend Sir Don Bradman.

While Hetherington’s background is rather more understated, having arrived from East Meon’s Sunday village team before the start of the season, he certainly hasn’t come up short with 10 wickets at 19.50.

Skipper James Scutt said: ‘Dave is the quicker of the two. He’s a good bloke and he’s your typical Aussie opening bowler.

‘He’s quite aggressive and intimidating when he’s playing.

‘Dave doesn’t need any firing up – he’s got more than enough words for the batsmen.

‘I’ve been trying to get Rupert to be a bit more aggressive.

‘He’s too nice a bloke, though, probably a bit like Chris Tremlett.

‘When he came from village cricket, he didn’t think he would be good enough for this standard but his stats suggest that he is more than good enough.

‘It can’t be very nice for opposition batsmen to see those two one after the other.

‘They get on well but everyone does in our side.’

While neither of them fancy the task of bowling up the slope at Ridge Meadow, loyal servant Dan Hewitt gets that unforgiving role for the side.

Scutt said: ‘Neither of them want to bowl up the hill at our place so Dan Hewitt has to do that job. At the other end Dave opens and then Rupert comes on after him.

‘Our pitch has been traditionally low and slow but I’ve never seen anything like it this season.

‘The pitch is getting better because we’ve got five groundsmen working on it now and those two get some carry out of it.

‘The keeper is stood 20 yards back these days and it’s good to watch from first slip.

‘Mind you, I don’t get away with it myself and I tend to sniff a bit of leather at net practice!’

Meanwhile, the bowlers are not the only men to be walking tall around the historic club after the weekend’s results.

The club boasted three centurions in their teams as Rob Atkins hit 115 not out in the firsts’ win over Rowledge.

Teenager Eddie Lewis smashed 108 as the seconds hit a mighty 400 to beat Hursley Park and Spencer Le Clercq helped himself to 100 from 91 balls in the thirds’ win over United Services III.