News Archive: August 2012

Hewitt: Let's be fearless

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Dan Hewitt has told his Hambledon troops to show no fear in their Southern Electric Premier League relegation decider.

The Ridge Meadow outfit travel to bottom club Paultons knowing only a victory will make certain of their spot in division two next term.

And after a mauling at the hands of Burridge last week, Hewitt knows his men must learn from their errors and be positive at Whitemoor Lane if they are to survive.

‘Losing last week was a tough one but the collapse was all too familiar,’ said the skipper, whose side capitulated to 66 all out when set a target of 179 to win.

'Watching Dessie (Kenway) rip through us by bowling a speed you can drive past schools at was disheartening.

‘We lacked positivity with the bat which we must show in the last game tomorrow.

‘Respect is key but we have got to be fearless.’

A remarkable seven of the 10 sides in division two are still in danger of the drop – albeit New Milton and Burridge, who host third-place Hook, need just one point and eight points respectively to put their safety beyond any doubt.

Only wins will do for the other five sides, though.

While Hewitt faces a nervous final few hours of the season, he reckons the thrilling last day in prospect highlights just how close-fought the division has been this term.

‘It is testament to the level playing field division two has been this year that so much will be decided on the final day,’ said the Dons skipper.

Going into the last game with all to play for is going to be a good test for us.

‘While we don’t lack in team spirit, talent or youthful exuberance, a lack of application and experience – and that same exuberance – has left us where we are now.

‘It is in our own hands, though, and that is what you want when you are trying to avoid the drop.

‘We know if we get that winning run or wicket, we don’t have to look over our shoulders.

‘The pressure is on, though, and I believe I have picked the best side for the game.

‘We are one apiece with Paultons this year but I am confident we can step up and win the decider.’

Hewitt has made three changes for the trip to Paultons.

Rob Atkins returns for Will Bond, Rupert Hetherington is in for James Atkinson and Paul Vickers gets the nod ahead of Toby de Mellow.

Skipper says thanks for great year

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Martyn Shinn has thanked his third team for a triumphant season which saw them promoted.

The skipper said: 'I would like to thank everybody who was involved with the third team this season, particularly as we finished fourth in the league and gained promotion.

'Every player who played in any game this season can feel proud to have contributed to this success.

'I would also like to thank my wife Jane, for her help in this success by scoring, sorting out the teas and clearing up after home games.

'Well done, everyone> I'm looking forward to next season!'

Promotions assured after cancellations

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Promotion was confirmed for both Hambledon's second and third strings as their final league fixtures were called off on Saturday morning.

After heavy rain, picth inspections found the Ridge Meadow and Broadhalfpenny Down surfaces waterlogged.

The abandonments mean both teams have gained promotion with the second string moving up to Hampshire League division three and Martyn Shinn's thirds up to regional south east division two.

Hambledon chairman Mark Le-Clerq said: 'Well done to all the players and especially captains Rhidian Chapman and Martyn Shinn.'

Heartbreak for U15s at finals day

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Hambledon's brave bid for the national T20 crown ended at finals day at Kibworth on Wednesday.

Previously unbeaten, the young Dons suffered semi-final heartbreak at the hands of Bath as they failed to defend a target of 135.

JJ Brown had earlier top scored with an unbeaten 51, while Jack Dyer added crucial support at the Leicestershire venue.

Bath went on to win the title, while Hambledon took on Old Northamptonians in the third-place play-off.

Once again the Dons batted first, notching 139 - with Rory Prentice scoring 37 and Eddie Lewis blasting a quickfire 22.

But once again the Ridge Meadow outfit came up short, with their rivals edging home with two overs to spare.

The finals day disappointment should not overshadow what has been a fantastic season for Hambledon, who finished fourth out of more than 1,700 teams who entered the competition.

Team manager David Brown, on behalf of the whole club, said: 'Well done to everyone who represented the club and supported the boys during the season.'

Dons promoted as Post Office fail to deliver

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Hambledon III pulled off a superb victory against Portsmouth Post Office to seal promotion.

After being invited to bat on a sultry summers day, Hambledon scored 191 for six thanks to a mature 65 by Will Atkinson and a superb 58 not out off only 31 balls by Sam Jackson.

The Post Office managed 158 for seven in reply as tidy bowling by the Dons attack secured victory.

Dan Franks bowled five overs and took one for 10, while man-of-the-match Will Atkinson took two for one in one over.

Dons ease relegation fears

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Hambledon eased their relegation worries with a crucial 22-run triumph over OTs & Romsey on Saturday.

The Dons were in danger of being dragged into a scrap for survival in Southern Electric Premier League division two.

But after winning the toss and posting 202 - thanks largely to a quickfire 45 from the side's finisher, James Atkinson - they strangled the OTs batsmen.

Always behind the rate, the visitors - who are deep in relegation trouble - eventally closed on 180 for nine.

Skipper Dan Hewitt took three for 47 - adding to his 26 with the bat - while Atkinson completed an impressive performance with three for 38.

Earlier Joe Collings-Wells (33) and Rob Atkins (35) had helped set the foundations for the Hambledon total.

The Dons are now up to fifth in the table, with clashes against Burridge and rock-bottom Paultons to come.

Second team's hot streak ends

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Hambledon's second string saw their six-match winning run halted in a last-over thriller at Fair Oak on Saturday.

After being asked to bat first, the Dons slipped from 37 without loss to 99 for six with only Paul Vickers (43) making a meaningful contribution.

Then a 56-run partnership between veteran Adrian Magrath (39) and youngster Kyle Shinn (24) helped the Dons to recover and close on 170 for eight from their 45 overs.

In reply, Fair Oak were always up with the run-rate but were losing wickets at regular intervals to the spin attack of Owain Chapman (three for 31) and Mark Le-Clercq (two for 40).

And at 140 for seven the game was finely balanced but a couple of dropped catches and a 30-run unbroken partnership saw the home team win off the penultimate ball of the match.