Purbrook aim to turn up heat on P&S

Purbrook captain Josh McCoy. Picture: Neil Marshall (180526-006)
Purbrook captain Josh McCoy. Picture: Neil Marshall (180526-006)
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Josh McCoy is predicting a competitive Southern League division three derby as Purbrook take on newly-promoted Portsmouth & Southsea at the Heath on Saturday.

The home side have won two of their three opening games this summer – only losing out to Hambledon.

And McCoy is backing his team to secure another victory in what promises to be an exciting contest.

‘This has all the makings of a cracking game,’ said the Purbrook skipper.

‘It will be a good challenge for us because our opponents are a strong and confident outfit.

‘They are still trying to find their feet in this league, so hopefully we can put them under a lot of pressure in the opening 15 overs and kick on from there.

‘Things have gone well for us so far, although, I would like to see us win games a little more comfortably.

‘Both our wins have come in tight matches. It does show we are prepared to battle right to the end, though.

‘At Havant it all got a bit sweaty but we managed to reach our target in the final over.

‘Our bowling and fielding have been good so far but we need to improve our batting. We need someone to go on and score big runs.

‘If we can win this game then it will put us in a good position to push on.’

Purbrook make one enforced change – with Matt McGlinchey coming in for the unavailable Ollie Runswick.

McGlinchey’s selection gives McCoy an extra off-spin option.

Portsmouth & Southsea will arrive at the Heath keen to improve on their poor start – with just one win under their belt so far.

Vice-captain Matt Benfield is not unduly worried by the lack of success, though.

‘It is still very early days and it is not the end of the world,’ he said.

‘We have had a tough start – playing three of the top teams.

‘The camp remains quite confident and we are back to full strength.

‘We know we can beat Purbrook and have done so in the past.’

Simon Shaeed, Rob Wigley and Peter Northeast all return to the side.

Portsmouth & Southsea will then look to pull off a giant-killing on Sunday when they host premier division Bashley in the Twenty20 Cup at St James Hospital.

Also in division three, Gosport Borough meet Havant II at Gosport Park and Hambledon welcome Bashley’s second string to Ridge Meadow.