Bedhampton and United Services set for promotion tussle

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United Services and Bedhampton Mariners go head to head in Hampshire League division two at Burnaby Road tomorrow.

Both teams are still in with a chance of promotion as they enter the final month of the campaign.

A win for the sixth-placed Mariners over their second-placed hosts will put them right back in the mix and club president Chris Thomas is relishing the contest.

‘This is a crunch clash for both teams and whoever wins it stands a great chance of promotion,’ said Thomas.

‘It looks very much as though it will go to the wire.

‘After just missing out last season we feel we have got a bit more strength in depth this time around.

‘Off the field we have a new infrastructure and have just opened a brand new clubhouse.

‘We are hoping this will help attract new players and help strengthen the club even further.

‘Both Services and us have been in division one before so are well suited to go back up.’

Captain Martin Hovey has been in inspirational form for Bedhampton.

The home side, however, will be a tough nut to crack and showed their quality in a 152-run success at Hungerford.

Harry Gadd (78) top scored with Matt Easton (three wickets) and Eamon Devine (two wickets) the other leading figures.

Leaders Bishop’s Waltham should carry too much fire-power for lowly Easton & Martyr Worthy at Albany Road.

It will be a surprise if fellow promotion-challengers Petersfield slip up against bottom club Bransgore.

In division one Locks Heath will boost their survival chances if they secure back-to-back wins for the first time by beating Ellingham.

Purbrook are aiming to continue their charge by winning at St Cross Symondians III for a fourth consecutive success.

Portchester must improve their batting having been bowled out for just 98 at Hook last week.

They will need to do much better if they are to upset second-placed visitors Shrewton.

Winless Hayling Island face a daunting test at home against Ryde.

But Hayling will be encouraged by last week’s 200-plus opening partnership between Mike Hallett and Mike Lever.

Burridge II and Fareham & Crofton are in local derby action at Botley Road.

Portsmouth & Southsea welcome Hook & Newnham Basics II to St James.

Sarisbury II are aiming to see off Ventnor II.