Sarisbury planning to make it an up-Hill task for Calmore

Sarisbury skipper Ricky Rawlins. Picture: Allan Hutchings (141727-317)
Sarisbury skipper Ricky Rawlins. Picture: Allan Hutchings (141727-317)
Jon Hudson, left. Picture: Sarah Standing (141477-5182)

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SARISBURY ATHLETIC face a tough Southern League division one assignment at Calmore Sports as they look to stay on the winning track.

Ricky Rawlins’ side are confident they can build on their excellent win at Portsmouth.

He is also looking for batsman Josh Hill to display his talent again after his terrific innings at St Helens.

The youngster was in superb form.

Rawlins said: ‘Josh produced one of the best innings I have seen from a Sarisbury batsman in recent years.

‘He played to his true potential and must now look to kick on.

‘In previous years he considered himself to be an all-rounder but this summer has asked to concentrate on his batting.

‘That appears to be paying off.

‘His was a very mature innings at Portsmouth and he must take a lot of positives from it.

‘He has been looking good since the start of the season without getting the runs he deserved.

‘It was great to see him come good at a time we needed him to.’

The visitors have regular wicket-keeper Tom Mills returning to the side.

Rawlins added: ‘We are back at full strength and need to be at our best against Calmore.

‘There are no easy games in this league.

‘Calmore won it last season so we know they will be a tough proposition.

‘I am looking for us to kick on again as a team.’

It doesn’t get any easier for Portsmouth who travel to face unbeaten leaders Hook & Newnham Basics.

Since starting the season with a win Portsmouth have been knocked back by two successive defeats.

They were particularly disappointed to lose at home against Sarisbury Athletic in their last outing.

Apart from Ben Duggan (70) and Prad Bains (43 not out) their batting failed to fire.

They were bowled out for 215 and on a good wicket it was never going to be enough to threaten the visitors.

Joe Kooner-Evans and Asad Abbas took two wickets apiece but the damage had already been done.

‘To be fair Sarisbury played really well,’ said Portsmouth team manager Matt Short.

‘They outperformed us.

‘Our batting is a bit like England at the moment.

‘Apart from Ben, who batted beautifully, the rest, including myself, got out to silly shots.

‘If we are to turn things around we will have to be at the top of our game.’