HARTLEY Wintney captain Jamie Teale remains upbeat after his side’s narrow four-run home defeat against Sparsholt on the opening day of their Southern League Division Two campaign.

This weekend, the village side have another home game when they entertain Rowledge, who like Hartley were relegated last season.

Teale is hopeful that new South African Ari Karvelas will make his debut. The hard-hitting batsman missed the first game due to some of his documentation not being sent from South Africa following industrial action.

Hartley will also add strike bowler Tommy Flanders to their squad, which will give their bowling attack a lot more balance.

Teale said: “We just failed to get over the finishing line, but we can take a lot of positives from the game, with some good top order batting – and our bowling attack did well considering we had only one seamer and four spinners.

“I think we will have a stronger team this week, but we know Rowledge will be a tough game and we have played them for many years.

“They know the Hartley pitch and what total they will need, but we will look for a win.”

Last weekend, the village side looked on course for victory as they reached 161-3 as they tried to chase down Sparsholt’s 209.

Danny Flanders (56), Danny Plume (34) and Jack Hersh (31) put them right on course.

However, as the run-rate increased, Hartley lost four wickets for nine runs as they slipped to 197-8.

They were left needing a six off the final ball to win, but they managed just two as they lost by four runs.

Earlier in the visitors’ innings, Matt Digweed was the pick of the home bowlers with 3-36, ahead of Chris Jolley (2-29) and Jack Cockram (2-45).