Mariners’ patience is finally rewarded

Dan Clark struck important runs for Bedhampton.  Picture: Sarah Standing (111785-4226)
Dan Clark struck important runs for Bedhampton. Picture: Sarah Standing (111785-4226)
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They have had to be patient but Bedhampton finally picked up their first win of the Hampshire League division one season against fellow strugglers Compton & Chandler’s Ford.

After six defeats from six games, Stuart Gardner’s side were languishing at the bottom of the table and in deep trouble of slipping out of the top division.

They are still rooted to the foot of the table but Saturday’s five-wicket victory closed the gap to just 17 points between themselves and nearest placed Compton.

And Gardner could hardly believe his Mariners done it.

‘We’ve finally won!’ he said.

‘We’ve worked really hard to get it. I knew we were playing well but I don’t think I’ve ever been in a team that’s played Compton & Chandlers Ford and won.’

After bowling their opponents out for 150, Gardner’s side chased down the runs required with five wickets to spare.

Dan Clark led the way with a superb 50 and he was well supported by Brad Mengham, who added 41 not out.

Now Gardner is hoping the result acts as a catalyst for the rest of their season as his team bids to move clear of the drop zone.

‘I think it can be as the sides we’ve got to play over the next few weeks are all around us.’ he said.

‘We’ve got Lymington, who just lost to Ellingham, and Andover, who seem to have gone from up the top to towards the bottom.

‘If we can get a couple of wins, we could be out of the relegation zone.

‘It could be the turning point.’

During the tough weeks that came before this triumph, Gardner insists his team stayed strong and keeping spirits high in the camp was very important.

‘It’s been crucial,’ he said.

‘Even though we’ve been losing we’ve not got down about it.

‘Everyone has kept coming to nets and everyone has kept going.

‘We’ve even starting having breakfast together before matches.’

With a win finally secured, there will be no temptation in Gardner’s mind to try anything new.

Instead, the captain will stick to the old mantra “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

‘I think we’ll be keeping the same 11 for the next match, definitely,’ he said.

‘I don’t think anyone will be dropping out, although there is a question mark over one of the lads.

‘It was just great to finally win.

‘It’s about time we got some good press!’