Havant’s quest to regain the Southern Electric Premier League premier division title appears to be heading down to the wire after they sealed a hard-earned victory across the Solent at Ventnor.
Their spin bowlers shone once again with Chris Morgan (five for 44) and Steve Matthews (four for 34) doing the damage as the Islanders were bowled out for 151.
But despite Ben Walker’s 43, it wasn’t the straightforward run-chase that it might have been as the title-chasers were reduced to 92 for five before skipper Stuart Ransley (37 not out) guided his team home. With leaders South Wilts also picking up a win at St Cross, the title could come down to a decider on the final day of the season when the two sides meet.
Meanwhile, Burridge slumped to the foot of the table as they went down to a seven-wicket defeat to Alton.
Geoff Dods (79) top scored in their total of 181 but Alton cruised home for the loss of just three wickets to leave last year’s division one champions needing a late-season run to avoid an immediate return.
In division two, Havant II were humbled by table-toppers Rowledge with a 178-run crushing.
Rowledge blasted 263 for seven with only Andy Galliers (three for 40) enjoying any success with the ball.
And it was a miserable batting display as Graham Burns top-scored with 23 in their lowly total of 85.
Portsmouth took another step towards mid-table safety with a convincing five-wicket success over Langley Manor.
The bottom club posted just 123 as Reuben McArdle (four for 23) starred.
And Rob Jones (51 not out) made sure there were not too many worries in the reply with a responsible knock.
In division three, bottom-club Portsmouth & Southsea look increasingly doomed to return to the Hampshire League after a 113-run loss to South Wilts II.
South Wilts hit a mighty 297 for seven before Portsmouth & Southsea were bowled out for 184 in reply.
Waterlooville’s late-season surge came to a juddering halt as they went down by 81 runs to Bashley (Rydal) II.
Bashley hit 241 for eight but Jon Hudson’s side were dismissed for 160.