The first stirrings of the new season have come with the announcement of the HCL line up for 2019 - and 3 out of our 4 teams will be playing in a league higher that they did last year!

Starting from the top, Tim Noble's 1st XI make their debut in the HCL's top division - a culmination of a 19 year journey up through 8 divisions, and hopefully, a continuing journey up into the Southern League in due course.

The first thing to note is that last year's runner up Parley have been denied promotion due to " due to various accreditation issues" so will line up against Sway again.

 

County

 

 

Division One

 

Alton II

 

 

Andover II

 

Bedhampton

Burridge II

Easton & MW

Gosport Borough

Havant II

 

 

Hook & N Basics II

Hursley Park

Longparish

Old Basing

OTs & Romsey II

Parley

 

 

Ropley

 

 

Ryde

 

 

Shrewton

 

St Cross III

Sway

 

 

In terms of new grounds or first ever league games, there are three new clubs against which Sway have never played a league game - Longparish, Ropley and the Winchester aristocrats, St Cross & Old Symondians. There is also a 50% chance of the Club's first ever trip to the Island - to face Ryde.

Ropley's rather impressive pavilion

For the 2nds, only 10 of last year's 18 opponents remain.

  County Division  
  Four West  
Bournemouth III 
Breamore   
Burley     
Ellingham   
Farley     
Fawley II   
Hyde     
Lyndhurst & Ashurst
Mottisfont   
Paultons II 
Pylewell Park 
Redlynch & Hale II 
Shrewton II 
Soton Travellers 
Steeple Langford 
Sway II     
Whiteparish 
Winton II   

Dropping down from CD3 North is Steeple Langford who endured a miserable 2018 season, winning just a single game.Sway's only previous encounter with the Wiltshire club was back in 2014  - a 2nd XI v 2nd XI nail biter. SWay had skittled the opposition out for 108 only to fit itself 9 wickets down needing 10 more runs only for the most unlikely combo of Nathan David & Ben Sanger so see Sway over the line. IF drawn away it will be the first visit to Steeple Langford.

Promoted sides feature old friends from Hyde, Lyndhurst & Ashurst and Braemore as well a potential trek to Shrewton and a moderately trek to Redlynch. The final promotion spot was an additional promotion granted to Fawley II who finished last year with a 10 & 5 record. CD4W is certainly a division packed with delightful & historic  grounds  - possible visits to Mottisfont, Pylewell, Boltons, Burley, Paultons to name just a few etc

Steeple Langford  - a bugger of a drive, but well worth it!

 

Sway third eleven will play in RD1 South West following their promotion this season. With 5 regional divisions at this level, the 3rds opposition for 2018 has a very local look with just a couple of trips to the Bournemouth area that are of moderate length.

 

  RD1  
  South West  
Bashley Rydal IV 
Beaulieu     
Bransgore II 
Brockenhurst 
Burley II   
Christchurch     
Dorset Indians 
Fawley III   
Ferndown Wfrs II 
Hythe & Dibden III 
Lymington III 
Mudeford II 
New Milton III     
Parley II   
Ringwood   
Suttoners   
Sway III     
Verwood II 

Fears that the 3rds may struggle at this level may have been over-stated. Whilst of course there are teams such as Stone Cup winners Brockenhurst that are very strong, there will also be 4 teams in the division who have come up via additional promotions (Burley II, Bransgore II, Fawley III and Ringwood)  - so there will be 5 teams in the league that Sway finished above in 2018. Suttoners, who have requested a double demotion, are likely to be an unknown quantity at this stage. This once-strong club had a disastrous season in CD3 in 2018, winning just a single game, forfeiting two games and suffering several 150 run+ / 9 wicket+  defeats so clearly want to rebuild at a lower level.

The fixtures computer will almost certainly schedule our usual trip to this old favourite!

 

The Chairman's 4th XI also find themselves "promoted" albeit via the abolition of RD3. Like the 3rds, the 4th season has a pretty local feel with lots of old friends.

  RD2  
  South West  
Bashley Rydal V 
Bournemouth IV 
Bransgore III 
Brockenhurst II 
Christchurch II 
Ellingham II 
Ferndown Wfrs III 
Hordle Village    
Lymington IV 
Milford on Sea
Mudeford III 
New Milton IV 
Parley III   
Pylewell Park II 
Suttoners II 
Sway IV   
Verwood III 

Despite the step up, there are still quite a few very winnable games on paper - no way the 4ths are going to get relegated!

Vaggs Lane - Sway 4th XI have a 5 &1 record against Hordle!