Hill pays tribute to 'cracking' Dons

Greg Hill has said an emotional farewell to Hambledon.

The hard-hitting batsman moved to Newbury this winter, forcing him to call time on his Ridge Meadow career.

And while he has not ruled out a return to the Southern Electric Premier League division two outfit, Hill is sad to be leaving.

The powerful strokemaker said: 'I still wanted to play for the Dons this season but, unfortunately, the petrol costs would have quickly caught up on me.

'Can you imagine me travelling all the way to Bournemouth for a duck?

'I do miss Portsmouth and Hambledon in particular.

'I wish everyone at the club well.

'If I ever move closer to Portsmouth in the future, I will definitely come back and play for the Dons.

'You've got a cracking bunch of gentleman there.'

Hill has relocated to Berkshire due to work and admits those pressures may force him out of the game altogether this summer.

'I been to nets for a team called Falklands,' he said.

'But I've only been once as, due to work, I struggle to make it at the moment.

'In fact, I'm not sure how much I'm going to be able play this summer.'

Kent-born Hill joined Hambledon from south coast neighbours United Services in 2010.

He developed into a key performer for the club that summer, helping the Dons to runner-up spot behind Portsmouth and booking promotion to division two.

His destructive batting then contributed to a fantastic third-place finish in the second flight last term.

Meanwhile, he also helped the Dons to a successful defence of their National Village Knockout Hampshire division crown.

In 33 innings for the club, Hill amassed 660 runs at an average of 24.44.

He scored four half centuries, including a best of 67 not out against Sarisbury Athletic in 2010, and took seven catches.

His departure will leave a hole in Hambledon's middle order.

However, the club have moved swiftly to find a replacement - lining up Joe Collings-Wells from Portsmouth & Southsea.

Should the starlet complete the move, he will fill the void later in the summer, with Olly Mills also expected to return to Ridge Meadow after his studies.

Picture: Greg Hill batting against Hook & Newnham Basics last season. By Mick Young, The News, Portsmouth