With six wins out of six some are starting to mention the ‘P’ word, but for others there’s more a sigh of relief that the threat of relegation seemingly won’t be looming come August.
Disciplined bowling and fielding performances have underpinned the run, while the side also boasts several highly capable batters, including one or two with massive hitting power.
Of the batters the opening partnership combo of wicket-keeper Alex Hall and ‘skipper Tim Noble is a dependable model, the pair being excellent runners who can both accumulate when needed or push on when required against seam or spin.
Hall has made a cracking start to the season, hitting 217 runs including a magnificent 117 against Hook and Newnham Basics while Noble has 199 runs
The most powerful hitter in the line-up is the teenage prospect Dan Bailey – he already has 209 runs this season and underlined his talent with an unbelievable 106 against Hook off 58 balls, his second fifty coming off just 14 deliveries!
Backing up the blossoming top order are several other batters who have all already played important innings’ this year in trying circumstances in a strong side where competition for places is fierce.
The classy Jack Walton has 116 runs, including two 40-plus scores in recent weeks, while Neil Prince, Tom Thorp and Oscar Marshall have all played their part. The tail has even wagged at times, Josh Bailey and Sam Nailor both hitting crucial knocks when the top order struggled away at St Cross.
With the ball the bowling attack, at points hostile at others accurate, has been hugely boosted with the return of the highly influential David Steadman – who had seemed set to play in Bristol this year but has opted to return to the club he loves and has already bagged eight wickets.
His opening partner, the accurate swing bowler Jonathan Waller has nine wickets and conceded just 153 runs in his 53 overs so far – while Walton also has nine scalps. Highly sought-after leg spinner and top Hampshire prospect Josh Bailey meanwhile has eight (as does his twin brother) in the spin-heavy attack that is complemented with an exceptional fielding unit capably led by Oscar Marshall, Jack Baughan and Steadman and excellent slippers in Thorp and Jon Grasham.
There have also been crucial contributions by others; Sam Nailor has five wickets and Matt Bramwell and Grasham have both chipped in – the latter (the skipper of the Royal Navy) is set to play more as the season wears on and will undoubtedly have a big say in most games with his pacey action.