BROMSGROVE captain Mark Evenson has rallied his troops to claim a confidence-boosting victory this weekend at bottom-side Brockhampton (Saturday, 12 noon), to help the Boars improve their current standing of ninth.
He admitted that his side were deserving of their six-wicket loss last weekend to Barnards Green in Birmingham & District Premier Division Two, but knows that a win could spark a return to form, and is confident of rising up the table in the coming weeks.
The Boars have won just twice this season, with their most recent win coming against Ombersley three weeks ago.
But they hampered their chances of a third success after a poor start to their innings against Barnards Green – hitting just 71-6 before a successful partnership between Tom Hill (42) and Evenson (49) made Bromsgrove’s total somewhat more respectable.
The visitors required just 35 overs to beat Bromsgrove’s total, condemning them to a fourth loss in the league this season.
Evenson talked up the importance of a positive result from the upcoming trip to Brockhampton, and says the Boars are capable of securing a win in Herefordshire.
“It’s a big game this weekend, there’s plenty of confidence to be had from winning the game – we have to go there and be positive,” he said.
“If we do that, we can slowly rise up the table. Being fourth from bottom isn’t ideal, but we know we’re capable of better.”
Bromsgrove lost six batsmen in all to lbw calls during their innings, with Alistair Hickman (7) the first of those to go at 20-1, while Jayden Levitt (16) and Ashley Newfield (1) were unable to repeat their batting heroics of recent weeks.
Alex Milton (12) was another batsman for Bromsgrove that was off the boil, and was quickly followed by Deon Patel (2) and Tom Green (9) in walking back to the pavilion at 71-6.
But the introduction of number eight batsman Evenson with Hill doubled the Boars total to 142, before the latter departed for an lbw call.
Alex Wilkinson (1) was the final batsman to go for an lbw, followed by the Boars skipper at 154-9, before Gareth Williams (7) was dismissed by Jonathan Dovey to end the host’s innings on 158.
Tom Russell took an early wicket, while Patel caught Mahaaz Ahmed (1), as Barnards Green stumbled at 15-2.
Green clambered their way to 71-4 after wickets for Williams (1-18) and Newfield (1-42), but blew away the Boars with a match-winning combination of 90 from unbeaten duo Ryan Tongue (85) and Andy Ford (53) to win the game.
Evenson accepted that his side did not perform to their full capabilities, but were not helped by some dubious calls from the umpire in their most recent loss.
“We were not at the races, it wasn’t the best days cricket for us,” he admitted.
“It was a lively wicket, we found ourselves four or five wickets down quite quickly, but some of the umpire’s decisions were debatable, a few of the calls could have gone either way.
“Myself and Tom (Hill) came together for the pick of the innings, but once he went out I followed shortly after.
“Gareth set the tone for us with his bowling, he does that week in, week out.
“Ultimately though we were not good enough and didn’t look likely to win, we deserved the defeat.”
The Bromsgrove skipper confirms that Tom Hill and Alistair Hickman will be missing out this weekend’s fixture, but are boosted by the return of opening batsman Mike Hingley and Ryan Pedley.
He believes that his side will start cutting out the dips in performance that they have suffered from so far this season, but need to maintain their standards for the entirety of matches.
“We’ve competed in a few games this season, we lost by 1 against Wolverhampton, which shows just how tough this division can be.
“We’ve played good cricket at times, but we’ve not done well in terms of longevity.
“There have been plenty of times where we’ve batted or bowled well, but not done the other half of it quite so well – we need to piece the two disciplines together to start winning more games.”