No defence for Havant this season

Havant wicket-keeper Jez Bulled has conceded Havant will not be defending their league crown
Havant wicket-keeper Jez Bulled has conceded Havant will not be defending their league crown
Hampshire's James Vince hits a six during the NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston, Birmingham. PPP-170309-212743001

Hampshire start T20 Blast campaign against Glamorgan

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Jez Bulled saw Havant’s hopes of a successful defence of their Southern Electric Premier League title take a serious blow but warned: We can’t let our season peter out.

The club’s long-serving wicketkeeper and vice-captain has identified a crucial few days for the defending champions as they host old rivals Totton & Eling in the league tomorrow, before Sunday’s trip to Surrey outfit Spencer in the Kingfisher Cup.

Havant will then finally begin their defence of the weather-delayed Southern Electric t20 Cup at OTs & Romsey on Wednesday.

But while Bulled believes Havant’s hopes of retaining their league crown are already over, he insists there is still plenty to play for.

He said: ‘We’ve got some important games coming up. We’ve got the Kingfisher Cup game at Spencer on Sunday, then we have the Southern Electric t20 Cup in midweek, But first we’ve got an important game against Totton in the league.

‘We’re getting players back and we’re looking stronger.

‘I don’t think we’ve got a chance of winning it this year. I think it will be a bit beyond us.

‘But if the sun ever comes out, I’m hopeful we could have a good run and put some good results together.

‘Unfortunately, South Wilts have stolen a march on us.

‘If we can win the league game against Totton, then take that it into the Kingfisher Cup game against Spencer and the t20 Cup game, it could really set us up and things will be moving forward.

‘It’s a vital few days for the club. If we’ve lost those games, the season could peter out and that would be an unusual situation for Havant.’

Although the club unexpectedly landed the title last year, Bulled felt that the league standard was lower than usual.

He said: ‘Last season, you could describe us as the best of a bad lot!

‘It was a fairly-weak league last year – certainly one of the weakest I’ve played in.

‘But a few of the teams have now recruited some good players.

‘You only have to look at Glenn Maxwell for South Wilts, who is a very good signing for them.

‘The game they beat us in recently was a really tight one and was the kind of game we would normally win.’

Although they are playing catch-up, Bulled feels Havant can come up with a strong second half of the campaign as they traditionally improve towards the end of the season.

Bulled said: ‘We are still a competitive side and I would be fairly confident of doing well in the second part of the season.

‘We want to put some pressure on South Wilts but they are a bit away from us at the moment.’

HAVANT: Richard Hindley, Jez Bulled, Ben Walker, Chris Morgan, Tim Jackson, Steve Matthews,

Chris Stone, Jez Ord, Ben Robins, Peter Hopson, Ronnie Crockford.