Crucial Dons win can inspire survival charge
Will Bond believes Hambledon's victory at Langley Manor can prove the springboard to his side's Southern League division two survival.
The Ridge Meadow outfit won by 32 runs against their New Forest opponents – with the skipper registering a third successive half-century.
It was only Hambledon’s second win of the season and they remain rooted to the bottom of the table.
However, Bond believes the result can give his troops belief they can climb away from danger.
He said: ‘It is a massive win for us and gives us a lifeline.
‘We are not down yet and there is all to play for.
‘This result is a reward for the great spirit in the camp.
‘If we continue to perform like we did in this game, there is no reason why we can’t get the three or four wins we need.
‘It has been shown anyone can beat anyone in our league.
‘We have got good enough players here to stay up.’
Despite losing the toss, Bond was pleased his side were put into bat.
Hambledon’s top three set about making the hosts regret their decision as Bond (80) and George Marshall (83) shared a first-wicket partnership of more than 150.
Once the openers had set a solid base, Indi Chakrabarti (78) followed with an equally impressive innings to make sure the visitors did not surrender their advantage.
Hambledon eventually posted 290 for five.
Rhidian Chapman (two for 54) then had Langley Manor opener Jack Budd caught and bowled for five.
But overseas player Saulieg Rayned (75) and Connor Browne (36) steadied the ship.
However, Dons spinners George Harding (two for 53) and Owain Chapman (three for 47) pinned the hosts down and prevented them from keeping up with the run-rate.
Bond was impressed with his team’s effort.
But he insists victory against Paultons in their next fixture will be crucial to keep the momentum going.
‘George is the second highest run scorer in our league and that takes some doing in a team at the bottom,’ the Hambledon captain added.
‘This season, though, he has also shown he is capable of accumulating runs in a sensible fashion when necessary. It was a shame he lost concentration to get stumped and missed out on a deserved century.’
‘Indi’s clean hitting in the final 10 overs was superb to watch.
‘Our spinners then strangled the Langley Manor batsmen and in the end it was a slow death for their innings.
‘The win is pleasing but it is only a start.
‘It is vital we back it up with another against Paultons at home if it is to mean anything.’