Rivals relish return of derby day

Tom Kent in action for Fareham & Crofton against Hook & Newnham Basics II at Bath Lane. Picture: Allan Hutchings (131353-443)
Tom Kent in action for Fareham & Crofton against Hook & Newnham Basics II at Bath Lane. Picture: Allan Hutchings (131353-443)
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Gosport Borough intend to burst Fareham & Crofton’s bubble as the two clubs renew their rivalry in Hampshire League division one.

Fareham have made a barnstorming start to the season – winning their two opening games.

But Borough skipper Lee Harrop believes his players will rise to the derby occasion after chalking up a first win of the season at Ryde.

‘This is the first of a few massive derbies and that always gives it a bit of extra spice,’ he said.

‘The two clubs have missed each other in recent years – going up and down the leagues – so we’re looking forward to it.

‘It was important to get off the mark with a much-improved performance at Ryde after losing our opening game.

‘Our attitude was much better and I couldn’t have asked any more.’

Borough have been encouraged by the emergence of young off-spinner Dale Patternotte, who took three for 20 from his nine overs at Ryde.

Patternotte was drafted in to replace regular spinner Mark Oxford and the 18-year-old was unfazed by the move.

‘He seems to take it all in his stride – it’s quite refreshing,’ said Harrop.

‘The lad just smiles and gets on with it.’

The Privett Park outfit are without opening bowler Richard Edwards but are able to replace him with the experienced figure of Andrew Blomerus.

Meanwhile, Fareham captain Luke Gould believes there will be a real buzz about the game, with both teams harbouring ambitions of returning to the higher level.

‘We want to keep the momentum going and there is not a chance we will let them inflict a first defeat on us,’ said Gould.

‘It will be nice to go there and beat them on their own patch.

‘So far this season we have defended two totals and it would be great to go to Privett Park and do the same again.

‘We have done our homework on them, as I am sure they have on us.

‘Gosport are a good, strong unit and we will have to be at our best.

‘Youth might be on our side, though, with the average age of our team just over 20 years of age.’

Fareham will look to in-form batsmen Thomas Kent, who hit an unbeaten 84 in the opening game, and Ricky Davidson, who just missed out on his century at Ryde after finishing on 98, to give them an advantage.

The visitors are without keeper-batsman Tim Dix, though, because of a knee injury.

‘If both teams play to their potential it should be a cracking game,’ said Gould.

Gosport Borough: Lee Harrop, Jamie Presswell, Simon Creal, Craig Stares, Ross Harrop, Andrew Tilley, Tom Larner, Greg Kitchin, Andrew Blomerus, Dale Patternotte, Matt Johnson

Fareham & Crofton: Luke Gould, Ed White, Thomas Kent, Ben Kissane, Ricky Davidson, Gary Wylde, Cheis Davey jnr, Luke Cornish, Angus Southon, Charlie Stubbs, Chris Hillier