Bournemouth EchoCrucial day for struggling Bourne (From Bournemouth Echo)

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Crucial day for struggling Bourne

BOURNEMOUTH captain Scott Barlow remained defiant ahead of his side’s crucial derby clash with Bashley at Chapel Gate tomorrow (1pm).

With the visitors still in the title hunt, basement boys Bournemouth are desperate for points to stave off relegation, with tricky trips to leaders South Wilts and Alton still to come.

Barlow told the Daily Echo: “Seeing as last week didn’t go to plan, we have to win two out of our final three games, but any time we go on to the pitch we have big players that can win matches and we do have a good record against Bashley.

“It is a massively important game for us. We don’t want to be going into the South Wilts clash needing to win two out of two.”

Batting duo Nick and James Park are available for the pivotal game and Matt Metcalfe, who was unavailable for the trouncing at Ventnor last week, returns.

Bashley captain Richard Morris, who is set to name an unchanged team after last week’s win over Lymington , said that he was expecting a tough test and, while he was confident his side could finish with a flourish this season, he conceded that the title is probably beyond them.

“In all honesty, it’s probably gone – South Wilts are playing the best cricket and have been building up to this for a couple of seasons now. They are a very attack-minded team which means they can win more than they draw.”

On their hosts’ plight, Morris added: “Bournemouth have found themselves in a bit of a predicament, but they have good people there and are still a very strong side. We’ve based ourselves on what they did a couple of years ago with a much younger side and it’s starting to bear fruit.”

Elsewhere, Lymington take on leaders South Wilts, while, in Division Two, New Milton host Burridge.

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