Portchester pay for errors as Waterlooville march on

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Portchester strike-bowler Dave O’Neill admitted his side were taught a harsh lesson as Hampshire League leaders Waterlooville impressed again.

The home side dropped Ville’s powerful batsman Byron Haycock (103) no less than three times.

And they paid a heavy price for that as the South African ace went on to inflict serious punishment.

‘We dropped four catches in the first six overs and you just can’t afford to do that,’ said O’Neill.

‘Their overseas player was put down when he’d only scored six and again not long after that.

‘Unbelievably, we dropped him a third time and he punished us for that.

‘You would like to think one of the chances, at mid-off, mid-on and second slip would have been taken.

‘Ville are a strong side but we failed to turn up on the day.’

O’Neill (three for 18) was the pick of the Portchester bowlers.

Waterlooville were in trouble at 40 for three, before Haycock made the most of being let off the hook.

He and David Howe put on a run-a-ball partnership of 120 to lead the visitor’s recovery.

Another three quick wickets briefly brought Portchester back into the frame but Ville then showed the depth of their batting.

Max Goddard (27), Jon Hudson (30 not out) and Sam Hillman (28 not out) took Ville to a competitive 269 for seven off their 50 overs.

‘Portchester had us in trouble and if they had dismissed Byron early on it might have turned out quite differently,’ said Ville captain Hudson.

‘Byron will admit it wasn’t his best batting performance.

‘But it can’t be bad if you end up with a century when you don’t bat well.

‘He could have gone on and scored a lot more.

‘We showed that we can bat down to number 11 and the players feed off the competition.’

In reply, the Portchester batting matched their inept performance in the field, and by the time they reached 97, they were all back in the pavilion.

Hudson removed the influential Richie Locke in the second over and Sam Hillman took his tally to 13 wickets in three games.

Hudson has, however, warned his men to keep their feet on the ground – despite winning their first three matches of the season.

‘This is an excellent win for us against a strong side but it is still early days,’ said Hudson.

‘There is still a lot of cricket to be played and it is vital that we keep our feet on the ground.

‘Our end goal is to get promoted but there is no talk of that in our dressing room.

‘We have some tough games ahead and, if we want to achieve our ambitions, probably can’t afford to lose any more than three games.

‘It is a case of remaining sensible and maintaining our concentration.’