Students set for Havant’s big test

Andy Gorvin. Picture: Allan Hutchings (150709-052)
Andy Gorvin. Picture: Allan Hutchings (150709-052)
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Havant’s star students will face a big examination this weekend.

Rob Gibson – back for the summer from Durham University – and Portsmouth Grammar School talent Andy Gorvin will be key men as the club continue their pursuit of glory on two fronts.

They travel to neighbours Burridge in the Southern Electric premier division clash tomorrow before Sunday’s trip to old rivals Roffey in the ECB National Club Championship last-16 clash.

The duo have been the men in form for their club in recent weeks with Gibson notching three straight half-centuries – including last Sunday’s 52 in the t20 cup.

But Gorvin has impressed with both bat and ball, hitting an unbeaten 52 in last week’s win over Ventnor and picking up four wickets for 37 with his useful medium pace.

The teenager is still part of the Hampshire Academy set-up but has been allowed to return to his club in recent weeks with the county keen to cast their eye over some of their other youngsters coming through the ranks.

While Gorvin averaged 22.50 with the bat for the Academy this season, he has doubled that to 45 in four innings for Havant.

And after being rarely used as a bowler in the county set-up, he already has 12 victims to his name for Havant since his return.

Player-coach Pete Hopson believes the club environment has allowed the 18-year-old Gorvin to flourish recently.

Hopson said: ‘I don’t really know what his situation is going forward with Hampshire.

‘He’s a fantastic cricketer and we’re just glad he is playing for us.

‘Gorvs had a great game last week.

‘He bowled fantastically well with his medium-pacers and he has the ability to move the ball both ways.

‘He bowled Ventnor’s overseas player with a beauty that swung back in but he can move it away as well.

‘Then he was very composed when he was batting and he made it look easy.

‘He loves the environment at the club. It’s a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere and that suits him.

‘It’s one of the good things that we do and a good selling point for our club.

‘When players join us, we do our very best to make them feel a part of the club and the team.’

Academy manager Bobby Parks insists Gorvin remains part of the future plans at the Ageas Bowl.

Parks said: ‘He is still very much part of the Hampshire set-up.

‘But I’ve now got access to the younger kids coming back from school, so there are a number of players who can go back to their clubs.

‘It just means more young players get to play at a good level.’

Meanwhile, Havant continue their quest for national honours at the Sussex outfit that knocked them out of last year’s competition.

Hopson said: ‘It’s a big weekend for us. Burridge have got a dangerous bowling line-up, especially playing there.

‘There haven’t been too many big scores there this year so we will need to be on our toes.

‘Then it’s a massive game on Sunday. It’s our biggest game of the season but every round in the competition will get that label now, as long as we stay in it.’