Gareth starts to Lovett again as he finds form

Bishop's Waltham batsman Gareth Lovett is back on song
Bishop's Waltham batsman Gareth Lovett is back on song
Mike Hallett hit 130 for Hayling Island. Picture: Mick Young

Lady Luck deserts Fareham & Crofton

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PROLIFIC run-scorer Gareth Lovett is looking to be back to his best for Bishop’s Waltham as they prepare for the home clash with St Cross Symondians III in Hampshire League division one tomorrow (1pm).

Last summer was disappointing for the man who has been an inspirational figure for the club for many years.

He suffered a poor campaign when his runs almost totally dried up.

Director of cricket Dan Wheeler, however, believes the 31 year old is set to put that all behind him.

It has been a good contribution from the number four so far this season and it looks like there will be more to come.

‘Gareth had a shocker last season and only managed about 80 runs in total,’ said Wheeler.

‘It wasn’t for the want of trying and the fact he probably ended up trying too hard contributed to the problem.

‘For us it was a blow because over the years he has been our most consistent scorer.

‘He stepped away during the winter, taking a complete break from cricket and it appears to have done the trick.

‘It appears to have done him the world of good and he looks very calm and relaxed again.

‘He came back with an unbeaten 50 in a friendly against Andover and bettered that with 76 in our opening league game.

‘Having him back to his best is a huge boost for us because batting at number four he can be a massive catalyst in our side.’

After their disappointing opening day defeat at the hands of OT’s & Romsey Wheeler’s side bounced back with a win at Burridge II.

Wheeler played his part taking three wickets and with Andy Wakeley doing the same the visitors were bowled out for 146.

The visitors suffered a bit of a wobble chasing their target down but in the end got home with 10 overs to spare.

Wheeler is hoping that result can be the springboard to a first home success.

‘In the first two weeks all four of our teams at the club have had a home game without a single win being registered,’ said Wheeler.

‘Hopefully we can change that this weekend.’

Over the last four years Bishop’s Waltham have forged close links with Hong Kong cricket to bring in an influential overseas player.

Those plans have been hit so far this summer because of visa problems.

The player they had lined up had his visa application declined so the club have had to go back to the drawing board to start again.

Wheeler is keen that it will still happen.

‘We are hoping to get a player in from Hong Kong in time for next week,’ said Wheeler.

‘One option is that Suhaib Ahmed, who helped get us promoted two seasons ago, might come back.

‘If not we hope to get another batting all-rounder.

‘Every year we have had one of their players over they have ended up in the top 20 of the league batting or bowling averages.’

Bishop’s Waltham: Baldock, Quincy, Wymbs, Lovett, Medhurst, Watson, Barrett, Dalton, Wheeler, Gadd