Purbrook hope to enjoy home comforts at last

Purbrook captain Martin Lee Picture: Mick Young
Purbrook captain Martin Lee Picture: Mick Young
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Purbrook captain Martin Lee is confident his side can finally get their Hampshire League division one season up and running against St Cross Symondians III.

All other attempts to play at home so far this summer have been foiled by the weather and drainage problems.

The frustrating lack of home games has also hit the club hard financially.

But the scorching weather enjoyed this week should hopefully give them a big boost.

‘It has caused a few problems and financially makes life a bit more difficult,’ said Lee.

‘There have been no match fees coming in and the bar has only been open once in the last month.

‘Times are economically tough anyway, without this adding to it.

‘Even on the one weekend when the weather was good, our ground was unfit because of rain earlier in the week.

‘I inspected the ground with the council on the Friday and if we had played it would have only cut up badly.

‘The problem is that we are at the bottom of the slope.

‘The water just runs down and stays there.

‘We are hoping to get the drainage problem sorted out over the winter because we always have problems staging matches in May.

‘It is frustrating because all we want to do is get out there and play.’

The lack of cricket showed last weekend when Purbrook suffered a comprehensive eight-wicket defeat at Bournemouth II.

Purbrook were disappointingly bowled out for just 105 runs – not enough to cause the home side any problems.

Despite the heavy defeat, Lee believes the prospects for his team remain bright for the weeks ahead.

He is optimistic his bowling attack can cause a lot of problems, with opening pair Aaron Dean and Clark Harding the spearhead.

‘Aaron had an impressive season last year and is determined to build on that,’ said Lee

‘He displayed a good ability to swing and move the ball around.

‘It is also good to have Clark back at the club to share the new ball.’

Lee is also boosted by the knowledge Graham McCoy can put in a full season and his ability to keep things tight can prove crucial.

On the batting front, the club have recruited Jacob Wilson from Brisbane and he is expected to open the batting.

‘I am confident we can avoid the repeat of another relegation battle,’ said Lee.

‘It is a very tight competitive league and there have already been a few surprising results.

‘There isn’t a lot between the teams and it should be exciting.

‘We don’t want to spend another summer battling relegation if we can help it.

‘It will be important to get off to a good start.’

Visitors St Cross have lost all three games played so far.

And Purbrook will be hoping to capitalise on home advantage for a first win.