VENTNOR Cricket Club captain Ian Hilsum has vowed his team will survive the drop from the top flight of the Southern Electric Premier League, despite only winning one game so far.
At the half-way point of the season, Ventnor’s only victory has been against Alton on May 19, with their heaviest defeat — a 164-run loss to Totton and Eling — coming last weekend.
It is a surprising run given the wealth of talent Ventnor’s first team has to offer, with home-grown talents Adam Hose, Jamie Miller, Mark Holmes and James Cheek, blended with the experienced Hilsum, Charlie Freeston and Bournemouth signing Chris Ridley.
Hilsum admitted: "The step up to the Premier Division is a large jump in standard.
"Yes, the performance on Saturday was disappointing, but our realistic goal at the start of the season was to stay in the division and let the players gain the experience necessary to compete next year."
But Hilsum was adamant when speaking to the County Press this week that the season could still be turned around.
"Let’s judge our performances against that goal at the end of the season," he said. "I am confident the group of players we have can deliver the victories we need."
Club chairman John Hilsum, Ian’s father, said the league standard was far higher this year then when Ventnor last reached the Premier Division in 2010, and added: "We have been fairly unlucky in a few of the games so far, especially against Lymington, when we were all set to win when the rain came, and Lymington won on the Duckworth-Lewis method.
"We will have Elliot Wilson and Jake George to strengthen the line-up next week, and if we can get just a couple of wins under our belt, we can bring our averages up and suddenly we will be mid-table."
Tomorrow (Saturday), Ventnor travel to second-placed Bashley (Rydal), while Ventnor II, who are unbeaten in Hampshire Division 2, host Shrewton.