IT IS a key time for Bedhampton Mariners as they return to Hampshire League division two action determined to make up for their disappointing National Village Cup exit.
They were well beaten by a good Findon side in the West Sussex regional final of the competition.
After being set a target of 179 for nine the home side were bowled out for just 54 runs.
Team manager Craig Stainton accepts the Mariners can’t afford to feel sorry for themselves.
They face Sway at Bidbury Mead on Saturday and it is an important match as the third-placed home side take on the team just below them.
Stainton said: ‘We must look to put our cup exit behind us.
‘We were outplayed on the day by a much better side.
‘It was a bit of a rude awakening for some of our players.
‘We did well to get to the regional final in our first year in the competition.
‘It has been a good experience for our players.
‘Now they have to focus on beating a good Sway side.
‘Our game against them last season was rained off but they finished above us in the league.
‘We are expecting a tough encounter.’
Bedhampton maintained their unbeaten start in the league with a hard-fought 38-run win at Locks Heath.
Scott Chilton and Martin Hovey both got into the 30s without going on to capitalise.
It was a tough wicket for batting and Bedhampton were bowled out for 194 runs in 44 overs.
Stainton added: ‘Once again we failed to use all our overs.
‘It is a fault we need to rectify if we are to challenge for promotion.
‘Our top order batsmen are going to have to stand-up and be counted in the weeks ahead.’
The bowling and fielding came to the rescue.
Medium-pace bowler Sam Robinson, 19, was the pick taking three wickets.
Stanton believes the youngster is a great prospect.
He added: ‘Sam came to us a couple of seasons ago after coming through the Havant youth set-up. He is a genuine all-rounder.
‘We use him as a first-change bowler and he has the habit of popping up with wickets when we need them.
‘He is an improving young talent.
‘His education will be extended when he goes out to Perth next winter to play his cricket.
‘As a team we bowled and fielded well in a good all round performance.’
Slow left-armer Chilton bowled well in support of Robinson, while Ali Gardner, Martin and Harry Hovey took two wickets apiece.