Bond insists Hambledon can pick up first victory

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Will Bond insists there is no need to panic after Hambledon began life in Southern League division three with a defeat.

Following last season’s relegation, the skipper was hoping for a winning start at the lower level, but they suffered a five-run loss at Fair Oak last weekend.

Bond takes Hambledon to Lymington IIs tomorrow and expects his troops to bounce back.

He said: ‘It was pretty close and the game could have gone either way.

‘We just came out the wrong side of a very tight game.

‘It was the same last season.

‘I am expecting us to bounce back from it because there were a lot of good things that happened.

‘Our bowling in general was good, with the likes of Ian Turner and Rhidian Chapman doing well.

‘They were well backed up by our overseas player, Sam Beagley, and youngsters Henry Glanfield and George Harding.

‘Our problem was we didn’t bat well enough chasing a low score.’

Meanwhile, Portsmouth & Southsea are also looking to open their account when they go to Gosport Borough.

The visitors lost their curtain-raiser at the higher level following last campaign’s promotion.

Vice-captain Matt Benfield is adamant his side can clinch their first success of the year.

He said: ‘We mustn’t take our defeat last weekend too hard.

‘South Wilts will be one of the strongest teams in our league.

‘A few things didn’t go our way.

‘We weren’t a million miles away but didn’t bat as well as we can.

‘It is up to us to absorb the lessons from that game and move forward.

‘We have a game plan and a good idea of how we can go to Gosport and succeed.’

Purbrook start their season with a visit to Fair Oak.

They lost their opening clash with Gosport last weekend because of a wet outfield at Heath Road.

Havant IIs travel down the Waterside to face Fawley.