Bedhampton Mariners eye title after earning Hampshire League promotion

Bedhampton all-rounder Harry Hovey. Picture: Neil Marshall
Bedhampton all-rounder Harry Hovey. Picture: Neil Marshall
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Craig Stainton is confident Bedhampton can mix it with the best in Hampshire League division one next summer.

The Mariners confirmed their promotion to the top tier of the county game with a 189-run mauling of East Woodhay on Saturday.

Team manager Stainton has vowed to strengthen the ranks at Bidbury Mead ahead of an assault on division one.

But before they plan for next term, skipper Alex Whitfield and his troops are fully focused on claiming the division two title.

Stainton said: ‘It is nice to get over the line after lots of hard work by everyone involved.

‘We now need 25 points from two games to win the title, so there will be no taking the foot off the gas now.

‘We will look to strengthen the squad of players we have to pick from.

‘We have 11 or 12 players capable of playing in county one but it just depends on the ambition of those players and the work they put in as to what we can achieve next season.

‘We can compete at that level at the moment. It just comes down to whether we want to stay up or whether we want to be challenging to go up again.

‘We have momentum, the club will be set up to achieve the grading to go up again, so it will come down to the ambition of the players.’

Bedhampton made batting look easy in difficult conditions on Saturday.

Whitfield led by example with 79 as the Mariners posted a daunting 327 for six.

George Parvin – up from the seconds – took his chance with 68, while Harry Hovey was back to his best form in a 44-ball 87.

Hovey has now racked up 677 runs at an average of 56.42 in division two this season.

Ali Gardner then took three for 20 and Sam Robinson two for 26 as East Woodhay were shot out for 138.

In division one, United Services claimed a first win – bowling Rowledge out for 147 and then easing home with seven wickets in hand.

Fareham & Crofton kept their promotion hopes alive by knocking off a rain-reduced target of 186 three down at Bishop’s Waltham.

In the Southern League, Sarisbury (148 for six) beat Hook (147) by four wickets in division one.

Meanwhile, Havant II (245 for four) were too good for Gosport Borough (209) and Purbrook (218 for seven) clinched derby glory at Portsmouth & Southsea (176) in division three.

Games involving Havant, Burridge, Portsmouth, Waterlooville and Hambledon were abandoned.