Bournemouth have beaten Bashley (Rydal) to the punch by signing Dorset’s Luke Webb, who has already scored over 1,000 runs in all cricket this season.
Bashley skipper Michael Porter was anticipating Webb would return to play Premier Division cricket at the BCG, where he played in 2015 before going to Oxford Brookes University.
But Webb, who graduates next week with a first class honours degree in Business & Management, has gone to Chapel Gate to help boost Bournemouth’s Division One title drive.
Webb has been prolific in his time at Oxford, making big scores for the MCCU team and helping Chesham win the Thames Valley League title.
More recently he switched to High Wycombe, where he struck an unbeaten 50 against Finchampstead last week.
Elated Lions skipper Chris Park said: “Luke decided he didn’t want to travel for High Wycombe games because he would then be farther away from Dorset games on Saturday nights.
“Common sense says he should play local cricket and he spoke to me last week. I hadn’t given it a second’s thought until he rang but I snapped his hand off.
“With Luke Matthews (broken finger) injured and Ben Bridgen unavailable at the moment, we would be silly to turn down such a quality batter. Hopefully, he can get us promoted.
Webb goes straight into the table topping Bournemouth side for the Chapel Gate showdown with unpredictable Sarisbury Athletic, who bowled Hook & Newnham Basics off top spot.
Opening bowler Dan Conway is also back for Bournemouth, while Ricky Rawlins has yet to show his hand for Sarisbury.
Bournemouth: Lions: N Park, West, Webb, C Park, Denham, Woodruff, Wilson, Conway, Markham, Clutterbuck,
Guernsey’s Tom Nightingale led a successful 278-run chase with an unbeaten 140 for Sarisbury Athletic when they rolled over overnight leaders Hook & Newnham Basics last week.
Hook face another demanding test when they visit twice-beaten SPL1 champions Calmore Sports, who lie 15 points behind in third place.
James Manning is back for Calmore, who have Michael Cook replacing Darren Vann behind the stumps.
Calmore Sports: Lavelle, Hardy, Cook, Johns, Manning, Taylor, Proudley, Rose, West, Wright Ducellier.
OTs & Romsey chase a third straight win when they entertain Ventnor, but they’ll have to do so with injured opener Steve Smith and pace bowler Jake Folkestone.
OTR: Woodhall, Mitchell-Lee, Vaughan, Tulk, Tognarelli, Brown, Newman, Trodd, Mogg, Allen, Bampton.
Hartley Wintney’s bid to end a run of four straight defeats since promotion see them visit Village Cup county winners Liphook & Ripsley, who have Ryan Covey in tip top form.