Dozen reasons for Hertfordshire to fear county starlets

Joel Knight in action for Havant. Picture: Mick Young
Joel Knight in action for Havant. Picture: Mick Young
Scott Morris. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Havant chief rues missed opportunity

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Hampshire will not be taking their foot off the gas against Hertfordshire at Basingstoke on Sunday (2pm).

The under-20s, who include 12 local starlets in their squad, have already qualified for the regional semi-final of the County Championship.

Led by Havant’s Rob Elsmore, they made sure of their place with victory over Sussex a fortnight ago.

But Sunday’s rivals could knock them off top spot in the group with a win at Down Grange.

Hertfordshire thrashed Surrey 50-8 last time out.

So Hampshire know they will be in for a tough examination before moving on to the regional rounds in a fortnight.

University of Portsmouth centre Ieuan Clements will have to make do with a place on the bench after starting the clash with Sussex.

Gosport & Fareham’s Joey Clark will also miss out on the starting line-up, with Callum Black making the long trek down from Edinburgh.

However, Havant’s Joel Knight and Lawrence Warren-West, and Portsmouth duo Nick Leach and Charlie Cutler are all expected to make the starting line-up alongside skipper Elsmore.

Team boss Ed Neville said: ‘It will be a highly-competitive game against a free-scoring Hertfordshire outfit.

‘We have a fairly settled outfit which is good news, as each game is allowing them to gel better together.

‘Hopefully we will see further development on Sunday and move on to the regional semi-finals in good form.’

HAMPSHIRE UNDER-20s: James Hammond (Fordingbridge), Jack Stott (Andover), Myles Roberts-Bailey (Newbury Blues), Callum Staff (Basingstoke), Alex Tindall (Basingstoke), Joel Knight (Havant), Charlie Cutler (Portsmouth), Rob Elsmore (Havant), Callum Black (Edinburgh Academicals), Alex Millar (Newbury Blues), Nick Leach (Portsmouth), Sam Spicer (Winchester), Tom Ellis (Jersey), Adam Long (Portsmouth), Lawrence Warren-West (Havant). Replacements: Joey Clark (Gosport & Fareham), Nick Ovens (Hartpury College), Rob Gicquel (Portsmouth), Alex Bruce (Havant), Fergus Barnham (University of Portsmouth), Ieuan Clements (University of Portsmouth), Rob Paterson (University of Portsmouth)