Havant take advantage as leaders wilt

Richard Hindley. Picture: Mick Young
Richard Hindley. Picture: Mick Young
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Havant have leaders South Wilts firmly in their sights following a confident six-wicket Southern Electric League premier division win at neighbours Burridge.

The gap at the top is now just six points after South Wilts suffered a surprise mauling at the hands of Lymington in the New Forest.

Player-coach Pete Hopson is relishing the summit meeting between the two sides at Wilton Road in a couple of weeks time.

He believes his team have given themselves a great chance to break the Wiltshire side’s stranglehold of recent years.

South Wilts have won the title for the last three years with Havant having to settle for the runners-up spot on the last two occasions.

Hopson is optimistic that Havant’s positive approach will pay dividends.

‘This was an excellent win and made even more relevant with South Wilts losing,’ said Hopson.

‘It puts us right back in the title race.

‘At the start of the day we were 30 points adrift but, with South Wilts failing to pick up any points, we have really closed the gap.

‘We would dearly love to snatch the league title back off South Wilts.

‘It will be a massive game when we go to their place in a few weeks’ time.’

Havant soon had Burridge in trouble after winning the toss and putting them into bat.

Dan Hewitt, James Richards and Joe Gatting all returned to the pavilion without getting to double figures.

It was left to wicket-keeper batsman William Steward (33) to provide the resistance at the top of the order.

When he departed and Lee Savident quickly followed, bowled by Andrew Gorvin, the hosts were in even deeper trouble at 73 for five.

Geoff Dods (54 not out) and Joseph Collings-Wells rallied to steer Burridge to 199 for eight.

‘We were good in the field and that kept Burridge under wraps,’ said Hopson.

‘Chris Morgan has been bowling really well for us and again he was the pick of the bowlers.

‘He consistently puts the ball on the right spot with great control of line and length and has the added bonus of being able to bowl for long spells.’

Havant were given an extra spur at tea when they learned that the leaders had slumped to defeat without picking up a single point.

It meant the visitors were determined to push home their advantage and collect as many points as possible.

Hopson (44), Ben Walker (28) and Richard Hindley (57) chased down the target with ease.

‘When we batted we were positive and two or three contributions easily got us over the line,’ said Hopson.

‘At tea we were only one wicket down and well on the way to the win.

‘After hearing South Wilts had lost we were intent on winning and losing as few wickets as possible.’