Havant skipper back Ransley to kick on

Havant's Stuart Ransley bowls in a previous clash with Burridge. Picture: Mick Young (150640-06)
Havant's Stuart Ransley bowls in a previous clash with Burridge. Picture: Mick Young (150640-06)
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Stuart Ransley could prove to be Havant’s trump card in their Southern League premier division derby against Burridge at Havant Park.

The all-rounder showed what fine touch he is in with the bat when he notched his maiden first-team century in their draw at Hampshire Academy last weekend.

Havant captain Ben Walker is backing Ransley to continue his good form as the reigning champions look to get the better of their derby rivals.

‘Stuart’s innings last weekend was special to watch,’ he said.

‘I got to witness it at close range from the other end and it was a fantastic knock.

‘He went in after we lost an early wicket and the challenge was to keep the tempo going.

‘Stuart managed just that, hitting the ball hard and finding the gaps.

‘It was so pleasing to see him do so well because he is one of those team members who just gets on with the job.

‘Hopefully having got his first senior century he will go on and notch a few more.

‘He is in such good form at the moment I wouldn’t bet against him doing it again.’

Havant will have to do without all-rounder Brad Taylor for the second game running after he was called into the Hampshire squad for the trip to Lancashire.

Walker admits his absence is a blow but is pleased to see Taylor getting his chance at the higher level.

He also believes Havant only need a couple of wins to start their climb back towards the top of the table.

‘It was disappointing to only draw with the Academy but it is always difficult to bowl teams out on the Rose Bowl wicket,’ added Walker.

‘With hindsight, maybe I should have chosen to bowl first – backing ourselves to chase the target down.

‘If we had done it that way round we might have stood more chance of coming away with a win.

‘We fought hard to the finish, though, and I couldn’t fault the effort of the team.

‘There is no doubt we need to put in another good performance if we are to beat Burridge.

‘They are coming into the game full of confidence after their win against South Wilts.

‘Being a derby always makes it that little bit more interesting.’

Burridge will present the home side with a stiff test following two successive wins.

Solent University student Brighton Mugochi has proved a real find and in the past two matches has claimed eight wickets.

Dan Hewitt is confident Burridge are capable of causing an upset at Havant tomorrow.

The vice-captain said: ‘On our day we are capable of beating anyone.

‘The only things that could cost us as the season goes on are injuries and unavailability.’