Rain condemns trio to second tier of Hampshire League

Paul Hungerford. Picture: Mick Young (151333-03)
Paul Hungerford. Picture: Mick Young (151333-03)
Andrew Gorvin bowling for Havant.  Picture: Neil Marshall (171025-5)

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Relegated trio Portchester, Locks Heath and Hayling Island must look to rebuild in Hampshire League division two next season.

Hayling Island, with just one win all summer, knew they were already doomed before their game with Fareham & Crofton was washed out.

The weather denied Locks Heath the opportunity to launch a miraculous escape bid against OTs & Romsey II.

Portchester, meanwhile, managed to play 32 overs before their home clash with Purbrook was abandoned with the visitors 132 for three.

‘We had seen the forecast and satellite pictures showing the rain was due to arrive at 3pm,’ said Portchester skipper Paul Hungerford.

‘To win the game inside two hours was always going to be a tall order.

‘We needed to bowl them out for something like 50 and knock them off quickly.’

Portchester have had a difficult summer, which started when they lost overseas player Andrew Webb.

The Australian, who was set to captain the team, arrived at Heathrow without the necessary paperwork.

He was kept in a holding cell at the airport before he was put on a plane back to Australia.

Despite this, Portchester made a reasonable start.

At one stage they were fifth in the table but the lack of depth in the squad soon told.

They dropped into the relegation places in the final three weeks after a number of poor batting displays.

‘We knew it was going to be a tough season having lost a number of players in all three teams,’ said Hungerford.

‘The club is healthy, though, with a lot of good youngsters coming through for us to bounce back in the future.’