Sarisbury ban any talk of promotion

Sarisbury batsman Jack Lovett Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Sarisbury batsman Jack Lovett Picture: Ian Hargreaves
James Vince. Picture: Sarah Standing (170455-8793)

Vince relishing ‘second chance’

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Matt Journeaux admits all talk of promotion is banned at Southern League division one Sarisbury Athletic.

The league leaders take on Portsmouth at Clarence Parade tomorrow looking to extend their three-point lead at the top.

It couldn’t be any tighter at the summit, with just three weeks of the season remaining.

Journeaux knows his team will need to complete a league double over the city club if they want to remain in pole position.

‘We are on a good run at the moment and all we are focusing on is keeping that going,’ said Journeaux.

‘It is so close at the top that even if we win our final three games it still might not be enough.

‘There is still a lot of cricket to be played and we are not even thinking about the prospect of promotion.

‘If we play like we have in our last four games then we will have a good chance.

‘We have put our mid-season blip behind us and found a bit of form again.

‘There is no room for us to allow any complacency to creep in.’

Hook & Newnham and Basingstoke & North Hants are both breathing down Salisbury’s neck – just three points adrift.

It promises to be a nerve-jangling, final three weeks and might boil down to who can hold their nerve.

Journeaux believes his team’s T20 success can give them the edge in the race to the line.

Sarisbury beat holders South Wilts to claim a final place against Havant at the Ageas Bowl at the start of next month.

Journeaux said: ‘Our knockout success ensures that we keep our season alive right to the very end.

‘That could prove to make a big difference.

‘Hopefully, it sets us up for a big final weekend where we could claim two trophies.

‘Our home win over Portsmouth helped us kick-start our season but we know that they are dangerous opponents.

‘They had been unbeaten until we beat them.

‘Their overseas player, Fraser Hay, has been going well so we might need to get him early.’

The Sarisbury batsmen have also been in good form – and none more so than Jack Lovett.

After a difficult first half of the season, he has strung a series of big scores together – including 40 in the T20 victory.

Journeaux sees his side’s batting as a big strength.

‘Jack has been great recently and scores his runs very quickly,’ added the captain.

‘In addition, nine different players have registered fifties this season and there is another who has reached 49 on two occasions.

‘It shows that we have been applying ourselves a lot more to get the bigger scores.

‘We must look to carry that on.’

Sarisbury Athletic: Matt Journeaux, Basil Akram, Jack Lovett, Harry Hovey, Sam Floyd, Ryan Covey, Ricky Rawlins, Chris Sanders,

Dan Goldstraw, Jason Allmark, Phil Jewell