Rivals gearing up for crucial league contest

MORE derby success is the goal for Fareham & Crofton when they travel to Purbrook in Hampshire League division one tomorrow (1pm).

Friday, 8th July 2016, 6:15 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:37 pm
Fareham & Crofton's Tom Kent. Picture: Paul Jacobs (150507-6)

There has been plenty of spice to the fixture in recent summers.

Both teams will be on a mission to show their quality.

Fareham & Crofton have had the better of things in the derby contests but it is Purbrook who are currently sit in the second promotion spot in the division.

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Tom Kent, who is acting captain for Fareham & Crofton, is expecting a very difficult match, although with several new players in the team previous bad blood between the clubs should not really be a factor.

If his side are at their very best he is confident they can get the victory.

He said: ‘There is a lot of potential in our side and on our day we are capable of beating anyone in our league.

‘So far our season has been a bit up and down and now we are aiming for greater consistency.

‘In the second half of the season we want to be looking upwards rather than over our shoulders.

‘Beating Purbrook will be a step in the right direction although they are going well at the moment.

‘We have had a few lively encounters against them in the past and I don’t see why we can’t upset them.

‘There are a number of new players in our team so we will draw a line under the past and hope for a good competitive game.’

Fareham & Crofton are currently 10th in the division with three wins and four defeats from their seven matches so far.

But they have been boosted by the return of some key players in recent weeks.

Their improvements showed last weekend when they recorded a seven-wicket success at Shrewton.

Kent added: ‘We are probably at our strongest with a number of players back from university and school duties.

‘It has made a difference and we have improved a lot in the last few weeks.

‘We had a good win at Shrewton where we dominated with ball and bat from start to finish.

‘In the past we have let games slip away from us so that was pleasing.’

Purbrook were denied the chance to beat promotion rivals Portsmouth & Southsea due to rain.

Although it was frustrating, skipper Martin Lee was happy to see his side remain in second place but now they must get the better of their rivals.

Lee said: ‘We haven’t beaten them for a few years.

‘It is a derby match with some extra spice after an incident between the teams a few years ago.

‘This is going to be a difficult one for us.

‘It’s one we need to overcome, we’re up for the game more but have tended to finish second recently. We need to put that right.’

Purbrook have won six of their seven matches this season.

With third-placed Portsmouth & Southsea facing fourth-placed Hook & Newnham Basics, tomorrow could be a key day in the promotion race.