Barber shows he can cut it with excellent display for Hambledon

Spencer Le-Clercq praised his Hambledon squad. Picture: Vernon Nash (110519- 08)
Spencer Le-Clercq praised his Hambledon squad. Picture: Vernon Nash (110519- 08)
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Hambledon stormed to a sixth successive Southern League success with a comprehensive victory at Hythe & Dibden.

Luke Barber produced a man-of-the-match performance in the 104-run win.

The 20-year-old contributed valuable runs in helping Hambledon reach a total 186 before being bowled out in the 44th over.

Then he took five wickets for 14 runs – ripping the heart out of the hosts.

The home side were dismissed for 82 runs in just 25 overs.

Hambledon captain Spencer Le-Clercq lauded the strength in depth of his squad.

The skipper said: ‘We continue to win games despite playing with half our regular first choice players missing.

‘A number of players have stepped up and done well for us.

‘In recent years this is something maybe we have lacked.

‘Confidence is sky high in the team and with players coming back there is great competition for places.

‘The aim is to still be in a good position when we reach the half-way stage of the season.’

It was the turn of 17-year-old Oliver Willoughby to step up to the plate when Hambledon elected to bat first.

Replacing his older brother Alex, who was away, Oliver showed great maturity going in at number three.

‘Oliver went in when we were 35 for one and wickets started falling around him,’ said Le-Clercq.

‘He kept his head, batted for time and waited to hit the bad balls to the short boundaries.

‘Oliver looked very much at home in the team.

‘Luke came in and added crucial late runs which is something we have been doing this season.

‘It has won us games this season.’

Fareham & Crofton endured an awful batting collapse in their 143-run defeat at Fawley.

Chasing 187 runs Tom Kent’s side were skittled out for 82 runs.

Portsmouth & Southsea were relieved to pick up a second win of the campaign, beating fellow-strugglers Lymington seconds by 48 runs.