MEDIUM-pacer Jake Lilley has crossed the great divide to join New Milton from Bashley.

And the 26-year-old admitted he had made the move half a mile down the road with first-team opportunities in mind.

Lilley said: “It was a hard decision to leave Bashley where I’ve played since a kid. But I still want to play Premier Division cricket.

“There wasn’t the opportunity to play first-team cricket at Bashley last season and I don’t think there would have been this summer.

“I didn’t really see any other club to join. I know pretty much all the guys who play there and they are all decent blokes.

“I think bowling with George Watts could be a decent combination and that's something I’m looking forward to.”

Lilley has played 107 times for Bashley at first and second-team level, taking a combined total of 113 wickets, in addition to his 32 scalps in a two-year spell at Hampshire Academy.

His father Shaun, now a lead Premier League umpire, made the journey in the opposite direction more than 30 years ago, leaving the Green & Golds, his first club, for Bashley.