Hambledon impress while Portsmouth & Southsea claim rub of the green didn’t go their way
The Hambledon hoodoo struck again as Portsmouth & Southsea suffered an 18-run home defeat at the hands of their rivals in Southern League division three.
The home side were keen to reverse their fortunes after conceding a league double to Hambledon last season.
Home captain Jack Davies felt his team played good cricket but were unlucky.
He said: ‘We didn’t get the rub of the green. A couple of crucial close decisions went against us and we dropped their top scorer when he’d only scored two runs.
‘We felt confident we could chase down their target of 230 and got ourselves into a good position.
‘When we reached 150 for three after 34 overs I thought we would go on and win it.
‘In the space of two overs though we lost both our batsmen who were going well to tight calls.
‘After that Hambledon put the squeeze on in the final overs.
‘I was pleased we didn’t fold though and still took it deep.
‘Picking up seven bonus points means we can take a lot of positives from it.
‘Every point will count come the end of the season.
‘It is frustrating however to lose our first game at home.'
Hambledon chose to bat first but saw George Marshall out early on.
Will Bond (45) and Henry Glanfield (36) steadied matters putting on 81-runs for the second wicket.
Alex Willoughby (61) made the most of his escape when he was dropped in the covers at the start of his innings.
Lewis Le Clerq (27) and Rob Atkins (23 not out) added valuable late runs.
In reply opener Steve Clements found himself back in the pavilion without scoring but his partner Matt Benfield (81) batted superbly.
Along with his brother Tom Benfield (27) coming in at number five they looked like setting their team on their way to victory.
Matt was given out stumped and Tom followed soon after the victim of an lbw decision.
Davies added: ‘While they were out there I thought we were in charge.
‘Matt produced a superb innings seeing off the new ball and punishing anything loose.
‘He hits the ball all around the ground and wasn’t happy with the manner of his dismissal.
‘Matt was convinced he wasn’t out.
‘When his brother was given out lbw their wicket-keeper was heading towards square-leg and didn’t even appeal.’