Petersfield trio relish Burnaby Road return

Petersfield skipper Damian Carson. Picture: Malcolm Wells (150606-0642)
Petersfield skipper Damian Carson. Picture: Malcolm Wells (150606-0642)
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United Services old boys Damian Carson, Dominic Carson and Mark Stanley return to Burnaby Road with Petersfield intent on plotting the downfall of their former club.

There is a lot of stake in the Hampshire League division two derby, with both teams eyeing promotion.

Second-placed United Services have their sights on snatching the title after beating top-of-the-table Bishop’s Waltham last weekend.

Petersfield, meanwhile, are hot on the heels of third-placed Andover II, who have a difficult test against the league leaders.

With just two games remaining, there is everything to play for as the visitors aim for a fourth-successive promotion.

Both teams are in excellent form – with Petersfield winning six of their past seven outings.

The vastly-experienced Carsons have been leading figures in the Petersfield charge, with Damian scoring more than 350 runs and taking 23 wickets, and Dominic contributing nearly 300 runs.

Services will have to put the shackles on both of them if they are to get the win they need in their bid to overhaul Bishop’s Waltham at the top.

They will also need to rein in a number of promising youngsters the visitors have brought up through their colts side.

Gabriel Broadhurst, 15, heads the Petersfield batting averages and recently shared a 200-run opening partnership with another youngster, wicket-keeper batsman Alex Thomas.

Broadhurst has missed the last few games with a damaged finger but hopes to return against Services.

Petersfield captain Damian Carson, who spent 17 years with Services, is relishing the prospect of returning to his old stomping ground.

‘It will be fun going back because I know a good few people there,’ said the skipper.

‘I spent 17 good seasons committed to Services and know Burnaby Road well.

‘Apart from three or four of us old-stagers, we have an exciting team full of youngsters who have come through our excellent colts system.

‘The teenagers are as keen as mustard and all are in the side on their merits.

‘Our big worry is keeping hold of them in the future because other clubs are already showing an interest in them.

‘The club suffered a big slump a few years ago but have managed to turn their fortunes around.

‘A lot of that is down to Andy Salmon, who got the colts up and running when the club was on its knees.

‘Even if we don’t get promoted this year the future is looking bright at the club once again.’

Petersfield are without two of their biggest talents against Services.

Opening bowler Ben Turk and leading wicket-taker Keith Gumbe are both unavailable.

‘Services will probably have the edge but we will go and give it our best shot,’ added the Petersfield skipper.

‘If we win it means we will still have a sniff at promotion going into our final game.’