Portchester determined not to slip up in title decider

Jacob Wilson. Picture: Malcolm Wells

Jacob Wilson. Picture: Malcolm Wells

Liam Dawson in action. Picture: Neil Marshall

White: Superb bowling has given us a chance

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Portchester head into their final game of the season at Purbrook knowing a win will see them lift the Hampshire League division one title for the first time in their history.

Their in-form hosts, however, are equally determined to finish on a winning note even if it means them being party poopers.

‘If Portchester lift the title we will be the first to congratulate them but we are going into the game to win it,’ said Purbrook captain Martin Lee.

‘After a dreadful start I thought it was going to be a long old summer with things going against us.

‘But since then we showed a massive improvement to pick things up.

‘We are unbeaten in our last six games and want to make sure that we finish in a winning fashion.

‘It is my first season as captain and the team has done well, surpassing all expectations.

‘If we continue to progress and play as well next season, I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be us at the top.’

Purbrook will present a tricky test for Portchester, particularly if dangerous opening batsman Jacob Wilson gets in the runs.

The 21-year-old Australian has had an impressive season with three centuries and a few fifties to his name.

He has consistently given Purbrook a solid foundation at the top of the order, allowing the other batsmen freedom to express themselves.

‘Jacob has been superb for us and solid as a rock,’ said Lee.

‘All I ever ask of him is to bat out the whole 50 overs and he takes his time to do that.

‘Apart from Jacob, everyone else has chipped in with runs at different times.

‘It has been a real team effort.’

Bowling-wise, Aaron Dean – with 22 wickets to his name – and the experienced Graham McCoy will provide the free-scoring Portchester batsmen with plenty to think about.

The visitors are equally determined not to miss out on the chance to take the title. They are in confident mood following a crushing 207-run win over Shrewton.

‘We have got ourselves into a great position and every member of the team is determined not to let it slip,’ said Portchester captain Tom Adams.

‘It won’t be easy at Purbrook because they will be determined to stop us. We are expecting one heck of a contest.

‘Disciplined bowling and sensible batting has got us into this position and we will look to continue that.

‘We can also take confidence from the fact that we have only been bowled out once all season.’

However, Adams knows that if his team slip up, both Lymington II and Ventnor II can snatch the title away from them.

Lymington visit Ellingham, while Ventnor are at Ryde.

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