Hayling skipper targets top tier

Hayling bowler Mike Hallett. Picture: Mick Young (121426-03)
Hayling bowler Mike Hallett. Picture: Mick Young (121426-03)
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Hayling Island breezed to the top of Hampshire League division two with a seven-wicket win over Hungerford at Hayling Park.

After losing their opening game of the season, Dave Gorvin’s men have bounced back with five successive wins.

Hayling now have their sights set on winning the title and promotion to division one.

‘We think we could hold our own at the higher level,’ said Gorvin.

‘After three years in county two we are ready to make the step up.

‘It would be good to have the challenge of playing against different teams.

‘There is still a lot of work to do if we are to make it happen but we are halfway there.’

Hayling lost their opening game against Bransgore but Gorvin put that down to a lack of match practice.

Without a pre-season friendly it was their first time out on the wicket and that showed in the performance.

Gorvin is convinced that in different circumstances it was a game his team could easily have won.

Since then, there have been no such problems and against Hungerford the home side looked in the groove.

The Berkshire visitors won the toss and made a steady start after opting to bat first. Gorvin made the first breakthrough after 10 overs – having one of the openers caught at mid-off.

Fellow new-ball bowler Mike Hallett then had the other Hungerford opener caught behind leaving the visitors on 40 for two off 15 overs.

Hungerford’s Australian overseas batsman then made the hosts pay for a missed chance.

When he had only made eight runs Gorvin dropped a return catch. He went on to score a century and helped his side set Hayling a target of 208.

Left-arm seamer Dave Wayman overcame a shoulder injury to grab five for 21, including the Aussie dangerman.

‘Dave wasn’t going to bowl because he hurt his shoulder in the week,’ said Gorvin.

‘But with the other bowlers leaking runs he changed his mind.

‘He is in a rich vein of form at the moment – also getting six wickets against Liphook recently.’

Hayling lost Hallett early in their run chase – the all-rounder trapped leg before wicket by a ball that nipped back into him.

Fellow opener Mike Lever (64) along with James Adams steadied the ship before talented batsman Sam Thompson (85 not out) finished the job.

‘It was probably the best of our wins – chasing down 200-plus runs,’ said Gorvin.

‘They brought on two spinners first change and Sam Thompson tore into them.

‘He likes to bully the opposition bowlers.

‘The most pleasing thing this season is the great team spirit in our camp.

‘A winning mentality helps and also having players available on a regular basis makes a big difference.

‘In the past unavailability has limited our progress.’