Purbrook hope to crown Southern Electric League return with home win

Purbrook's Brad Mengham
Purbrook's Brad Mengham
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PURBROOK are hoping to celebrate their Southern Electric League return with a home victory against Waterlooville in division three.

The team based at the Heath have returned to the higher level after spending eight years in the Hampshire League.

Home captain Martin Lee is keen to celebrate their first home game of the campaign with a win against their local rivals.

Whatever happens, Lee insists the focus for Purbrook this summer is making sure they retain their newly-regained status.

‘Having worked hard to get here we want to make sure that we stay,’ said Lee.

‘The last thing we want is to have a taste of this level and go straight back down.

‘That obviously wouldn’t be ideal.

‘I am confident, though, that the team is more than capable of being up for the challenge.

‘Our main objective is making sure we consolidate.

‘At the moment we are finding our feet in a new league which has introduced new rules.

‘The introduction of white ball cricket and power-plays makes it a learning experience for all of us.’

Purbrook, who have largely kept the same squad from last season, began with a 21-run defeat at Fawley.

Lee went for a duck as the top order failed to deliver last Saturday.

In the end the experienced figure of Sean Figgins (82) along with Brad Mengham (37) and Matt Lee (20) led the recovery and made it close.

‘Sean is one of the few players in our team to have experienced Southern League cricket,’ said Lee.

‘He played in it in his younger days and he batted really well.

‘It was the best we have seen from him for a while and he rose to the occasion.

‘Hopefully he can continue his confident start against Waterlooville.’

Earlier new overseas bowler Burger Nel, bowler and middle-order batsman from South Africa, gave Purbrook plenty to enthuse about.

He bowled 10 overs of off-spin ending up with figures of two for 29.

When batting he was unfortunate to get a tight lbw decision.

‘We felt we could come away from Fawley with a lot of positives,’ said Lee.

‘It was a reminder, though, that we have to be far more clinical about the way we go about things at this level.

‘We dropped a few catches and it also cost us runs as well.

‘I am looking for us to tighten this up against Waterlooville who are a good side.

‘They will certainly start as favourites so we can go into the game with nothing to lose.’

Waterlooville made a winning start to the season overcoming local rivals Gosport Borough by 14 runs at Rowlands Avenue.