Positives from Fareham & Crofton display despite opening defeat to Portsmouth & Southsea… Hambledon beaten

Matt Benfield managed to steady the ship for Portsmouth & Southsea. Picture: Keith Woodland
Matt Benfield managed to steady the ship for Portsmouth & Southsea. Picture: Keith Woodland
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Tom Kent feels Fareham & Crofton can take lots of positives from their first game back in Southern League cricket despite their 33-run defeat against Portsmouth & Southsea.

The captain felt his young side were competitive even though they lack experience of playing at the higher level.

He said: ‘We are feeling our way at the start because not many if any of us have played at this level.

‘There wasn’t a huge amount in the pitch, which was a bit slow and we bowled tight.

‘When we batted our top order chased a few wide balls and played some loose shots.

‘If we had batted for the full 50 overs we knew we would be close.

‘We didn't do that, but there are still lots of things we can take forward.’

The home side couldn’t have wished for a better start when Portsmouth & Southsea opener Steve Clements edged a Ben White delivery through to the wicket-keeper without scoring.

Ollie Kanavan (72) and Matt Benfield (25) steadied the ship for the visitors.

A useful Jonathan Willey (32) cameo guided them to 197 all out with home bowler Ben White (three for 36) the leading wicket taker.

The home side soon found themselves in trouble at 67 for seven and only Chris Davey junior (61) provided any resistance.

Davey was eventually bowled by Keiran Dunstan (three for 49) who along with Jake Peach (three for 12) took three wickets apiece.

Hambledon let visitors Bashley (Rydal) II off the hook in their 49-run defeat at Ridgemeadow.

They had the New Forest side on the ropes at 45 for five with Rhidian Chapman (four for 27) doing the damage.

After that, however, they allowed Bashley to set them a target of 216 for five to win.

Only Henry Glanfield (76) showed any quality as they fell well short.

Purbrook paid the price for a weak batting performance in their six-wicket loss against Trojans at the Heath.

The home side were bowled out for 145 as only Martin Lee (41) and Aaron Dean (34) produced any resilience.

The visitors got home with three overs to spare.