BOURNEMOUTH skipper Martin Miller has stoked the fires ahead of tomorrow’s derby with New Milton by declaring that Sarisbury hold the upper hand in the Division One title race.
New Milton have been at the summit of the league all season but hold only a slender advantage over Sarisbury with two games to play, with top-four opposition in Bournemouth and Basingstoke & North Hants awaiting the Green and Golds on the final two weekends.
Sarisbury travel to mid-table Liphook & Ripsley tomorrow before meeting Bournemouth in eight days’ time and Miller says the villagers are in the box seat to go up and put to bed memories of missing out in 2012 due to ground grading issues.
Miller told the Daily Echo: “Must-win games are horrible to play in but I think I would rather be in Sarisbury’s position.
“Basingstoke are a good side and while I’m not necessarily saying they will beat New Milton, at this stage of the season you want to be top of the table and playing teams near the bottom, rather than the teams at the top.
“We’re looking forward to the visit of some familiar faces on Saturday and we’re going to be all-out to win it. We’re clearly underdogs with them at the top and us below but we will go into the game believing we can win and hopefully we can cause an upset.
“It’s a shame that we’re not involved in the title race. I remember saying earlier this year that we could have been top and I maintain that even now.
“It’s been a frustrating season but we’re going to try and finish as high up the league as we can.”
Nick Park, Mark House and James Park, all heroes of Bournemouth’s famous Cockspur Cup triumph in 2009, are all named in the New Milton squad.
New Milton head into the showdown at Chapel Gate (12.30pm) off the back of a dramatic victory over Totton & Eling in the t20 Plate final last Sunday, which they won in a super over.
Bournemouth: Bridgen, Hayward, Miller, Schmulian, Hurley, Russell, Kidner, Matthews, Pack, M Jones, R Jones.
New Milton: N Park, House, J Park, Elliott, Lawes, R Beck, L Beck, Loader, Collison, Gargaro, Watts.
- In the Premier Division, Lymington will hope to build on their shock victory over high-flying South Wilts when they travel to new leaders Havant (12.30pm).
Lymington: Beetham, Ambrose, Cowley, Ellis, Freeman, Hand, McCann, Metcalfe, Mortimer, Rogers, Scott.
Bashley are primed to take on visitors Hampshire Academy (12.30pm) as they bid to halt their recent slide down the standings.
Bashley: R Morris, Porter, Thurgood, J Morris, Morgan, Baker, Friedman, Thomson, R Grierson, Neal, Nash.