Havant’s title hopes finished by batting woe

Ben Walker batting for Havant
Ben Walker batting for Havant
James Vince. Picture: Sarah Standing (170455-8793)

Vince relishing ‘second chance’

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Havant squandered their final remaining hopes for the Southern Electric premier division title as they turned in a ‘horrible’ batting display.

Knowing that they had to win all of their games and hope for a South Wilts slip-up, Havant looked well on course for a comfortable victory when they bowled Lymington out for just 101.

Havant bowler Brad Wheal took three wicket. Picture: Innes Marlow

Havant bowler Brad Wheal took three wicket. Picture: Innes Marlow

Richard Hindley (three for 13), Brad Wheal (three for 20) and Steve Matthews (two for 24) appeared to have done all the hard work for the team with the ball.

Having been bowled out for just 50 when the two sides met in the reverse fixture back in June, Havant were determined to exact some revenge.

But aside from Pete Hopson (25), Ben Walker (44 not out) and Matthews (11), nobody else made it into double figures as they were bowled out for just 97 to seal a four-run defeat.

And it was Lymington’s Ben Ashkenazi (six for 20) who did the majority of the damage.

Player-coach Hopson said: ‘The honest truth is we let ourselves down horribly with the bat.

‘Unfortunately, we did half the game well and half the game not so well.

‘It wasn’t a particularly tough pitch to bat on.

‘It swung around at the start of the day and nipped about a bit.

‘Apart from Ben, we didn’t bat very well as a team.

‘Their overseas player bowled very well to take six wickets.

‘But a few of us needed to hold out for a bit longer to see some of their other bowlers.

‘We should have chased it down easily and we didn’t.

‘Only three of us got into double figures.

‘The rest of the batting looks like a mobile phone number.’

Despite beating South Wilts in the ECB National Cup, Havant have been second best to their main rivals for much of this season. However, they showed they are not far away in the midweek loss to South Wilts in the Southern Electric t20 Cup Final, going down to defeat off the final ball.

But the Salisbury-based outfit have been more consistent and simply not made as many slip-ups.

The Lymington defeat confirmed a season of disappointment for Havant.

It meant a fourth consecutive league crown for South Wilts and some decisions to be made for Havant over the winter as they try to mount a challenge to regain the title again next season.

Hopson said: ‘We’re definitely disappointed with the way the season has turned out.

‘I don’t think we are far away.

‘But there have been too many mistakes on our part.

‘Losing to St Cross and losing to Lymington twice hasn’t been good enough.

‘There are some decisions to be made but they are probably for another time.’