3rd May 2016

 

Hampshire Cricket Season set to start

The long wait is almost over and excitement is building as the Hampshire Cricket League season is set to begin this Saturday.

Some Sway youngsters will be making their debuts whilst grizzled veterans will be embarking on yet another campaign - all will be hoping to get off to a flying start in the weekend's games.

With the pavilion extension works almost complete, Sway 1st XI will be looking to push on and achieve the promotion to CD2 that they were cruelly denied back in 2014 due to ground regulations.  Alex Hall's team, boosted by a couple of new additions, host newly-promoted Suttoners at Jubilee Field. 

Jonny Arnold's team finished 3rd in CD4S with a 12 & 4 record so the standards on display from both sides are likely to be a lot higher than when the two sides last met back in 2007 down in RD3SW. Sway are set to feature just three survivors from their 2007 60-run victory - John Grasham, Alex Hall and Adam Clark. The visitors look to be particularly dangerous with the ball in hand - Paul Barber taking an impressive 37 wickets at 9.9 and Lewis FitzJohn 25w a at 16.0 in 2015.

Dan Stevenson's young 2nd XI side will be looking to at least consolidate their position in RD1 in 2016. With a number of the younger members of the squad having an extra years experience under their belts, and with possibility of having key players available for most of the season the prospects do appear brighter. A big loss will however be keeper Laurie Symons who was superb in 2015 but is working away all year - big shoes for anyone to fill but luckily U19T20 skipper Nick Brien has very big feet! For the first game Sway make the long trip to play Shrewton II who were promoted from RD2 in 2015 after finishing with a 12 & record. Sway 2nds have played Shrewton 2nds before back in 2013 - a match played at a back up ground which seemed almost to be in Swindon with the game being abandoned half way through! Shrewton do feature the top run scorer in RD2W in 2015, opener Mike Barton who racked up 598 runs at 54.96.

Sway 3rd XI make the relatively short trip to play Fawley III with skipper Pete Bennet no doubt excited at the talented mixture of youth and experience that he is likely to have at his disposal this season. Fawley, who had beaten Sway 2nds on several occasion in recent years will be looking to re-build after a disastrous 2015 season which saw them lose all 15 of their games.

Derek Seward, Sway's 4th XI skipper will lead his side out to play what is likely to be a youthful but no doubt promising Parley IV side at Pennington Rec. As ever for a 4th team skipper he will be hoping to have some stability in selection and not be scrabbling around for players. With some of his youngsters from 2015 now going into their second year of league cricket, there is good reason for Derek to optimistic about the season to come.

Good luck to all players and sides - whatever happens, there is always next week!