Sarisbury Athletic captain Matt Journeaux has called on his top-order batsmen to start firing as they look to right opening-day wrongs against Hook & Newnham Basics in Southern League division one.
Journeaux’s side fell to a disappointing two-wicket defeat at Basingstoke & North Hants last time out – slipping to 60 for five at one point.
That’s before Sam Floyd, batting at number seven, fell one short of his half-century as the visitors rallied to end on 178 for eight.
But it was a case of too little, too late for the recently-relegated outfit – and Journeaux wants an improvement from his talented group of big hitters.
He said: ‘Last weekend we had a difficult start against Basingstoke and didn’t really bat very well – we will be looking to get that right.
‘And if we can put a better batting performance in it should give us a chance – whether we are defending or chasing.
‘One of the top four or five need to get a big score.
‘But we have guys who are capable there who should be getting big scores – especially if they are getting in.
‘The aim is to lay a foundation for the middle and lower order to build on.
‘And then we will look to do what we can do with the ball in the field.
‘If we can get that sorted, then I am pretty sure we will be back to winning ways fairly soon.’
Journeaux, though, expects a stern test from tomorrow’s opponents as Dan Clouting is called up to replace the absent Ricky Rawlings.
He added: ‘Hook & Newnham did very well last season and finished in the top three so they are obviously a decent side.
‘They will be up there again at the end of the season so it will be a difficult one, but for us it is a case of just getting the basics right.’
Elsewhere in division one, Portsmouth travel to Rowledge eager to build on their opening-day win at Totton & Eling, with Aussie batsman Fraser Hay (88) key to their chances after his impressive debut.
Meanwhile in the premier division, Havant will also be chasing back-to-back wins with an in-form batsman.
Skipper Ben Walker hit a stunning 125-run knock at Alton last time out and will hope to lead his side to victory again when Bashley (Rydal) visit Havant Park.
Ventnor will hope to bounce back from their defeat to reigning champions South Wilts when they travel to St Cross Symondians.
The Islanders fell well short last time out despite a battling display from Hugh Calloway (42).