Larner encouraged despite Gosport’s opening-day defeat

Andrew Galliers. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (150826-04)
Andrew Galliers. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150826-04)
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Gosport Borough suffered defeat on their return to the Southern Electric Premier League.

The Privett Park side won promotion from Hampshire League division one last summer.

But they were edged out in their first division three fixture by Havant II, who had been relegated from division two last term.

Havant were put in to bat first and Andrew Galliers scored 57 as the hosts posted 198 all out.

Gosport’s spirited response saw them hit 56 before losing a wicket, although a subsequent collapse saw five batsmen dismissed for just 13 runs.

Captain Tom Larner led the revival alongside John Adams, with the pair putting on a partnership of 78 and sparking hopes of a victory, only to fall 25 runs short.

Larner is confident his side can build on an encouraging performance and stay in the division.

‘It’s definitely encouraging, we have to take the positives because we weren’t outclassed at all,’ he said.

‘Havant are one of the strongest teams we will face this year.

‘And we matched them for most of the game.

‘It’s more of a mental than technical issue and it’s something we have to learn from.

‘Next time we have to power through and play like we have nothing to lose.

‘The first aim for a promoted team has to be to stay in the division.

‘We’re good enough to stay up, we’re a young team and we’re improving. We have enough to compete in this league.’

Gosport will host St Cross Symondians II in their next fixture and Larner feels it is a great chance to register a first win of the season.

He said: ‘It’ll be nice to get back to Privett Park.

‘We didn’t lose there at all last season and we’re usually really strong at home.

‘Getting that first win on the board will be massive and we can kick on from there.’

Waterlooville’s season got off to the perfect start with a comprehensive eight-wicket defeat of Alton II.

Set a target of 173, opening pair James Scutt (45) and Tim Jackson (81 not out) helped deliver the Rowlands Avenue outfit their first win of the season.