Havant respond to ‘shock’ result

Rob Gibson is back for Havant. Picture: Mick Young (131630-12)

Rob Gibson is back for Havant. Picture: Mick Young (131630-12)

Tom Alsop hit an unbeaten century. Picture: Neil Marshall

Tommy guns down the Spitfires

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PETE HOPSON insists Havant have already shaken off their shock demolition by Lymington.

The Southern Electric Premier League premier division title-chasers went down to a disastrous nine-wicket defeat at Lymington last weekend after they were dismissed for just 50 – their lowest-ever league total – as Matt Metcalfe (eight for 27) ran riot.

But they went a long way to proving it was just a blip as they delivered the perfect response 24 hours later, beating league leaders South Wilts in their ECB Club Championship showdown.

Havant have now slipped down to fourth place in the table and will attempt to get their campaign back on track at home to Bashley (Rydal) tomorrow with Rob Gibson returning to the ranks.

Player-coach Hopson said: ‘It was unexpected what happened at Lymington but I think we have already shown a lot of character with our response on the Sunday.

‘It was a pretty different experience within the space of 24 hours. We don’t find ourselves in the position we found ourselves in against Lymington too often, but, when we have in the past, we usually have someone to dig us out of trouble.

‘We only had one or two batsmen chuck their wickets away but Matt Metcalfe just bowled brilliantly. He swung and seamed the ball miles.

‘He used to open the bowling for Dorset and is one of the highest wicket-takers in the league.

‘I think five of the wickets were caught by the keeper or the slips and a couple were bowled, so it tells you how well he bowled.

‘We were shocked to lose like that but we weren’t feeling we let ourselves down.

‘We didn’t give our wickets away – he just bowled really, really well.

‘We hoped the ball would stop swinging after a few early wickets.

‘Then when you are chasing down a target like that, you don’t have to try to build an innings. They came out and were trying to whack it out of the ground, and it worked well.’

But Havant rediscovered confidence from their result against South Wilts, having lost to them a few weeks ago in their league clash.

Hopson said: ‘We played some great cricket and it was a really good game.

‘I wouldn’t call it revenge but it was very satisfying.

‘Everyone in the league wants to beat them and we have a similar reputation, because a lot of teams really enjoy beating Havant as well.’

Havant also host Gosport Borough in the Southern Electric T20 Cup second round clash on Sunday (3pm).

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