MAY’S Bounty will be the place to be on Saturday as Basingstoke and North Hants look to defend their perfect start to the season against arch rivals Hook and Newnham Basics.
This is the first time these sides have met in a Saturday league encounter and it is sure to be a cracking game of cricket.
Basingstoke are the form team coming into the clash, having won four games out of four, but have only played eight overs at May’s Bounty so far this season, after rain washed out both games.
The Bountymen have never lost at home since joining the Southern League last season, but face a side who have enjoyed success at May’s Bounty with a number of Guy Jewell Cup victories.
Basingstoke will welcome back all-rounder Graham Porter and top order batsman Craig Williamson in place of Patrick Joseph and Dean Nurse.
Returning for Hook is opening batsman Ben Thane, while bowler Gary Binns remains in the side as Glenn Williams is still unavailable.
They will arrive at May’s Bounty with just one win in three games and have yet to hit the form that historically has made them one of the top sides in the division.
Both sides are looking forward to the game and Basingstoke captain Chris Froud said: “We have to make sure we do not get caught up in the rivalry and treat it like any other game as we want to keep our winning run going.”
Hook skipper Matt Love said: “I would have liked us to be in better form going into the game, but this a derby game and anything can happen.”
On Sunday, Hook complete a busy weekend with a trip to top Southern League side Havant in the first round of the Southern League T20 Cup.
Hook were beaten finalists in the competition in 2010, while Havant have won the trophy three times, the last occasion being in 2011.
Love said: “We know Havant are a great team, but we will go with no fear as we have some quality players in our line-up.”
Visit basingstokegazette.co.uk/sport for live over-by-over coverage from May’s Bounty on Saturday.