Portchester have one hand on the Hampshire League division one title after crushing Shrewton by 207 runs at Cams Hill.
Tom Adams’ team will go into their final fixture – a derby at Purbrook – knowing a win will guarantee them the crown for the first time in their history.
It would be a fine achievement for the skipper in his first season at the helm.
Adams puts the team’s success down to their consistency and a doggedness when things have not gone their way.
He also accepts a little bit of luck helped – having called correctly at 10 of his 12 coin tosses.
‘Winning the toss so many times has put us on the front foot from the start,’ said Adams.
‘The big difference this season is that most of the players have stayed at the top of their game throughout.
‘There have not been many occasions when we have looked like getting beaten.
‘Both our losses were close-run things – Ventnor in the final over and Gosport on the final ball.
‘Sensible batting has meant putting runs on the board hasn’t been a problem.
‘Our bowling has been disciplined and backed up by some excellent fielding.’
Portchester again took advantage of winning the toss against Shrewton, deciding to bat first.
Openers Andrew Webb and Curtis Locke provided an excellent platform – as they have all summer – with a 52-run stand for the first wicket.
When Shrewton began to make inroads with a couple of wickets, skipper Adams (98) produced an excellent innings to put his team back in charge.
‘To be fair they bowled short which is to my liking and I was able to pull a few shots to the boundary,’ said the captain.
Lee Hungerford joined him late on to add some quick-fire runs and take Portchester to 299 for nine off their 50 overs.
‘We have only been bowled out once all summer,’ said Adams.
Any hopes Shrewton had of overhauling the Portchester total were blown away early on.
Within five overs, the visitors had lost three wickets and only mustered five runs.
Dave O’Neill (three for 17) proved the pick of the home bowlers.
‘Shrewton couldn’t get near him and he does this consistently for us,’ said Adams.
‘I am amazed he doesn’t take more wickets than he does.’
Hungerford also grabbed three for 20 with his slow left-armers as Shrewton were skittled out for a measly 92.
The hosts picked up maximum points.
‘We have got ourselves into a great position and every member of the team is determined not to let it slip,’ said Adams.
‘Purbrook are in good form, too, after a difficult start and they will be keen to stop us.’