Ville’s young guns playing ‘no fear cricket’

Alex Shephard

Alex Shephard

Matt Blandford in action on the cricket pitch

Cricketer takes on feat of endurance for children

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Waterlooville captain Jon Hudson is backing his young side to handle the pressure as early Hampshire League division one pacesetters.

Unbeaten Ville face their trickiest test yet with a visit to sixth-placed Portchester.

The hosts showed their quality last weekend with an emphatic win over a powerful Locks Heath.

And they will fancy their chances of taking another top scalp.

Ville, though, are in excellent form and Hudson has been very encouraged by their start to the campaign.

‘Our youngsters have matured very quickly,’ said Hudson.

‘I have no doubt they can handle any pressure put on them.

‘They are excited about the start they have made and there is a lot of belief in the side.

‘My job is to make sure they stay organised and don’t do anything naive.

‘They have shown they have the confidence to go out and play no-fear cricket.

‘Last weekend against Hook & Newnham was a good example.

‘We showed good application to win a game that in previous seasons we would more than likely have lost.’

Ville have been boosted by the performances of their overseas player John Grewar.

Alongside fellow opening bat Alex Shephard, he has proved a key figure for Ville so far this season – and will once again be central to their hopes tomorrow.

Grewar – a 19-year-old South African – has already shown he is a more than adequate replacement for previous overseas player Chris Baumann.

‘He has obviously been well coached,’ said skipper Hudson.

‘And he accumulates his runs at a steady pace.

‘His style is very correct and though he won’t go out and thrash from the start he will clinically deal with bad balls.’

Hudson is aware of the threat Portchester present and knows his team will need to be at their best.

In Dave O’Neill he reckons the home side have one of the best bowlers in the league in their ranks.

He is also wary of the Cams School wicket which has proved tricky over the past few seasons.

‘We know conditions will be tricky anyway because we expect it to be wet,’ said Hudson.

‘In these circumstances we have to back ourselves to go out and win whatever.’

The home side will look to their own in-form overseas player Jamie Ryan to swing the game in their favour.

Perth-based Ryan recorded an excellent century against Locks Heath last weekend.

Waterlooville: Alex Shephard, John Grewar, Jon Hudson, Matt Charman, Andrew Reynolds, Max Goddard, John Burnett, Sam Hillman, Namish Rama, Nathan White, Lloyd Williams

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