Gardner: Mariners must step up to the plate

Bedhampton's Martin Hovey will be a key player against Waterlooville. Picture: Mick Young
Bedhampton's Martin Hovey will be a key player against Waterlooville. Picture: Mick Young
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Bedhampton Mariners captain Stuart Gardner is calling for greater resolve as his side host Waterlooville at Bidbury Mead still looking for a first win of their Hampshire division one campaign.

Despite defeats against Ryde and Locks Heath, Gardner is adamant his team possess the quality to turn their fortunes around.

The main area for concern has been the fragile batting and the captain is demanding a big improvement.

‘We have players in our side who are capable of scoring big runs,’ said Gardner. ‘A number of our batsmen have got started but not been able to carry it on.

‘We got caught cold in our first game by Ryde and then collapsed after getting in to a reasonable position against Locks Heath.

‘Basically, we haven’t scored enough runs. and I am looking for that to change.

‘Players like Martin Hovey, Dan Carter and myself need to step up to the plate.

‘We have to make sure that we bat sensibly because far too many balls have been hit in the air.

‘Ville have beaten us easily for the past two years and turning the tables on them won’t be easy.

‘There is no need to panic because it is only two games.’

The captain will be looking to his younger brother Alex, who opens the bowling, to cause the visitors problems.

The strike bowler has enjoyed success against Ville in recent years, twice taking four-wicket hauls.

The home side have to do without Lakman Mendis and Matt Wake who are both unavailable.

After having their first three games of the season washed out, Ville finally kicked off their season with a win over Andover II.

Captain Jon Hudson admitted it was a gentle introduction against limited opponents but was pleased all the same.

‘I couldn’t have asked for a better start and it is just what we needed after sitting on the sidelines for three weeks,’ said Hudson.

‘Bedhampton will be different and we can’t afford to take anything for granted.

‘The win has given us a bit of momentum and we must look to keep that going. We just need to turn up and concentrate on our game and then we should be okay.’

All-rounder Alex Shephard enjoys playing against Bedhampton and will be looking to repeat last season’s man-of-the-match display.

The 22 -year-old took four wickets for 22 runs as the home side were bowled out for 150 and backed it up by scoring 73 to see his team to victory.

With John Burnett and Matt Cook unavailable, the visitors have drafted in Max Goddard and Manish Verma.

Bedhampton Mariners: Dan Clark, Martin Hovey, Stuart Gardner, Alex Whitfield, Ross Basketeer, David McFawn, Alex Gardner, Gary Phillips, Ron King.

Waterlooville: Alex Shephard, John Grewar, Jon Hudson, Andrew Reynolds, Alex Lamont, Max Goddard, Sam Hillman, Lamish Verma, Nathan White, Lloyd Williams.