Burridge have grounds for despair after defeat

Matt Scott's half-century was in vain for Portsmouth. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (092237-1)
Matt Scott's half-century was in vain for Portsmouth. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (092237-1)
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Burridge didn’t enjoy the best of preparation ahead of their Southern Electric Premier League division two relegation clash with New Milton on Saturday.

First their ground played host to some unwanted travellers – before a wedding at the adjacent hall sparked debate between caterers and players.

It all added up to a heavy defeat for the hosts.

Burridge were bowled out for 120 before their opponents knocked off the required target with a massive 24 overs to spare and only two wickets down.

In light of the drubbing, secretary and scorer Jim Cunningham was left rueing the pre-match events.

‘It wasn’t so much the travellers, who were moved on after causing limited damage, but the attitude of the Fareham Borough Council enforcement officer,’ he said.

‘He insisted the cricketers moved their cars from the car park because there was a wedding happening simultaneously. And then he said he was going to abandon the game.

‘They had put this barrier up and I said if you open up the barrier then people can park on the road. Problem solved.

‘They had the rights to the hall – they hired it – but that didn’t mean they had the rights to the car park.

‘The caterers came on the ground at the start of the game and told the players they had to move their cars, interrupting everything.

‘I park in the disabled spot nearest the field, as I am quite entitled to as I am disabled, and when I came back my car had been vandalised.’

The travellers had arrived earlier in the week and were finally moved on a day later but, as Cunningham explained, the measures they put in place to make sure they did not return was soon challenged.

‘The ground’s land is owned by three parties, the National Trust, the farmer and Burridge Cricket Club,’ he said.

‘The farmer parked his trailer over the entrance to make sure they didn’t come back but the officer said “remove that trailer”. ‘But it’s got nothing to do with them.

‘Now what’s stopping them from coming back?’

The match itself was instantly forgettable for the hosts.

Nick Ball’s 40 was the top score as the hosts posted a well under-par 120.

And then a superb 71 from New Milton’s Aussie batsman Josh Hill heightened the club’s relegation fears.

‘It was really disappointing,’ said Cunningham.

‘We were bottom, they were second from bottom but that didn’t stop them absolutely tanking us.’

Elsewhere in the second division, Hambledon had a hoot at Paultons, with skipper James Scutt leading by example in a 52-run victory.

The Dons cashed in on some ordinary bowling and fielding from the hosts to post 260 for six with Scutt (57), Dan Hewitt (58) and David Williams, with a rapid 41 not out, the key contributors.

Scutt’s five for 45 with the ball then saw Paultons bowled out for 208.

Ventnor were indebted to a wonderful 103 from Ian Hilsum who, with help of Adam Hose’s 72, guided his side to 276 for six in their top-of-the-table clash with Hook.

The visitors could only manage 216 for six in response, with David Beven picking up three for 28 in the title favourites’ 60-run win.

Matt Scott’s 73 and 51 from Ed Lye could not prevent Portsmouth (258 for seven) six wicket defeat at Rowledge (262 for four).