Jon Floyd reckons the return of Tre Manders from Bermuda can spur Sarisbury Athletic II to a Hampshire League division one title challenge.
Saturday’s comfortable eight-wicket win over Hayling Island fired them up to fifth in the table.
And on the evidence of his first game back, Manders looks like posing a big problem for opposition bowlers as Sarisbury hunt for promotion.
The 20-year-old appears to have benefited from his winter ICC training camp in Barbados where he spent time with players from Canada, the United States and the West Indies.
He has also been in America for the last month playing T20 cricket for Bermuda.
Manders (108 not out) and Pete Hammond (102 not out) put on 214 for the third-wicket to help Sarisbury blow the winless visitors away.
‘It looks like we will have Tre back with us for at least seven games and he will make a huge difference,’ said skipper Floyd.
‘He has been very well schooled and this latest innings was flawless.
‘Tre was a different class, building his innings calmly and playing beautifully through the covers.
‘With him in our side – batting at three – we look a very solid unit and it is going to take a good team to beat us.
‘Our problem is being a second team we can lose players to the senior side and we can look a bit frail when that happens.
‘If we have our full squad out then there isn’t anyone in this league that can match us.’
Hammond also showed his class after dropping down from the club’s first team at the start of the season.
The hard-hitting right-hander reached his century off 80 balls as he punished the Hayling attack.
And the pair helped Sarisbury to their victory target of 279 in the 39th over for the loss of two wickets.
Earlier, Hayling had posted 278 for nine thanks largely to reliable opening batsman Mike Hallett, who held the innings together with a superb 120.
Gary Martin (20), Duncan Brown (20) and Barney Steele (40) all chipped in with important cameo knocks as the visitors showed a big improvement in their batting.
Hayling captain Mike Lever was highly encouraged by the way his team performed – even though they suffered another defeat in their maiden season in the top tier.
‘I thought we made a real good effort with the bat and I don’t think we are too far away,’ said Lever.
‘Mike Hallett showed his class but when it came to bowling we were missing a couple of key players.
‘We had Sarisbury 40 for two but their next two batsmen were just too good.
‘I think we can take a lot of encouragement from this and just need a win or two to kick-start our summer.
‘We do have a number of players to come back in which will help.’