Sarisbury stun rivals to reclaim top spot

Sarisbury batsman Jack Lovett     Picture: Keith Woodland
Sarisbury batsman Jack Lovett Picture: Keith Woodland
Stuart Ransley stepped it up against South Wilts. Picture: Neil Marshall

Havant confident league crown will be secured

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Sarisbury skipper Matt Journeaux saluted his side’s ‘brilliant display’ as they reclaimed Southern League division one top spot with a thumping win over former leaders Andover.

Journeaux won the toss and elected to bat first in the top-of-the-table clash at Allotment Road.

It was a decision that paid off big time as Jack Lovett (94) and Harry Hovey (42) took the game away from the visitors.

Late contributions from Chris Sanders (31 not out) and Shayne Freemantle (17) allowed the home side to post an imposing total of 227 for seven.

And in declining batting conditions, Andover (95 all out) didn’t get close.

A dominant bowling display led by Phillip Jewell’s five-wicket haul (five for 21) means Sarisbury are now in pole position to earn promotion to the premier division.

But with five games to play, Journeaux has called on his side to maintain their focus in the run-in.

He said: ‘Things went pretty much to plan for us and we performed really well, which was good to see.

‘It was a brilliant display.

‘Hopefully we can carry on that form now into the back end of the season.

‘We have five games left and if we can repeat performances like Saturday then we can stay at the top, which we didn’t do last time.

‘We were top a few weeks back and there for three weeks but lost all the games we played and were poor!

‘What I am hoping is that we will learn lessons from that experience.’

Lovett’s contribution proved very timely as he broke the fifty mark for the first time this term.

Journeaux said: ‘It’s his first fifty of the year but he is a very good batsman.

‘It’s pleasing to see him get his first one and after a rough first half of the season he is coming into a bit of form.

‘He made the most of any short or weak balls he got and it was a really good performance for him.

‘He did a bit better than me (0), but I’ll take a first-ball duck every week if we can keep performining and winning like that!

‘Hopefully I can step up again next week, which has been a theme for our side this season – we’ve all chipped in.’

Jewell was another man who saved his best performance for Saturday’s crunch game, with the skipper delighted with his whole bowling attack.

Journeaux added: ‘I couldn’t have asked for much more out of them.

‘We put the pressure on early on and kept putting the balls in good areas.

‘Phil found the edge – four of his wickets were caught behind,

‘He let the ball do the work and it was a brilliant effort.

‘it was great to see him back in form and getting the wickets he deserved for once.

‘It was not just him, though, Shayne (Freemantle) and Jason (Allmark) bowled again very well, and their wickets were well deserved also.’