Dons challenged to raise their game

Hambledon skipper Dan Hewitt. Picture: Mick Young (131599-10)
Hambledon skipper Dan Hewitt. Picture: Mick Young (131599-10)
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Dan Hewitt took one look at Hambledon’s final four Southern Electric Premier League division one fixtures and told his side: It’s time to pull your fingers out.

The Ridge Meadow outfit have won just once in eight matches.

It is a run of form which has seen them slide to third from bottom in the table.

And last week’s home defeat against relegation strugglers Andover plunged them even closer to the drop zone.

Hambledon travel to Hook & Newnham Basics tomorrow, with clashes against New Milton, Sarisbury and Rowledge completing their campaign.

All four clubs are currently in the top six of the division one table.

Hewitt saw his side rely on other results to escape the drop on the final day of last season.

And he is determined to avoid the same fate – or worse – this time around.

The Dons skipper said: ‘It really is fingers-out time for us.

‘Losing last week to Andover has put us right among the relegation candidates.

‘And with four tough games against decent teams ahead it is going to be hard work.’

Hambledon’s fragile batting line-up will once again come under pressure at Hook, with the hosts notoriously good on home turf.

Hewitt added: ‘Hook look to score heavy with the bat, something we haven’t been able to do to say the least.

‘The bowling has been good all year but the batting has been a shade under mediocre at best!

‘We have a decent side and a much stronger one than we put out last year.

‘But, unfortunately, no-one can say they have had a good season, so it’s up to each individual to save the club from the drop.’

Hewitt makes four changes to the side that lost to Andover.

Rupert Hetherington, Richard Marshall, Cameron Prentice and Jack Lavous are all unavailable, paving the way for Hewitt, Dom Humphrey, James Marshall and James Atkinson to return.

Elsewhere in the second tier, Sarisbury Athletic and Burridge continue to duel for promotion.

The former host Rowledge at Allotment Road and Burridge, who top the table by a solitary point, travel to Andover.