David Banks believes his Sarisbury Athletic team are well equipped to compete with the best sides in the Southern Electric Premier League premier division – if they can continue their remarkable winning run.
Sarisbury made it eight straight wins by completing a five-wicket success at Andover with their only blemish – in the opening day defeat to Basingstoke – becoming a distant memory.
They face unbeaten league leaders New Milton next weekend with both clubs eyeing the one promotion place that is available.
But if Sarisbury can continue their recent form, their captain is certain they can hold their own next season.
Banks said: ‘We need to get the job done and get up there first.
‘As a team, we’ve not discussed it this season.
‘We haven’t been top all season, we’ve just concentrated on winning our games.
‘It’s only one promotion place on offer and it makes it tough to get promoted.
‘But if we can get up there, I absolutely believe we are good enough to play in the premier division.
‘Apart from South Wilts, Havant and Hampshire Academy, when they get their strongest side out, there isn’t much to choose between the rest of the teams and the top few in division one.
‘I think we would do well and hold our own.’
It was Sarisbury’s bowling attack that set up the victory as Andover were dismissed for just 121, inside 44 overs.
Joe Lovett (three for 21) and Keiran Geyle (three for 22) led the way, while the others certainly played their part.
And despite losing Ricky Rawlins to the second ball of the innings and struggling to 23 for three at one stage, Archie Norris (54) and Geyle (46 not out) shared a stand worth 79 runs to ensure there was no collapse.
And the job was done inside 28 overs to complete another straightforward victory.
Banks said: ‘It was a good toss to win because the wicket didn’t look too good.
‘It was a bit up and down and we backed ourselves to bowl them out cheaply, which we did.
‘We had a couple of scares but we knocked them off easily enough.
‘Archie Norris batted really well and Kieran Geyle got us to within touching distance.
‘It was a good performance.
‘Everyone is scoring runs in the top six and they are chipping in.
‘Nobody has scored a hundred for us this year but we’ve scored a lot of runs between us.’
Elswehere in division one, Hambledon went down by eight wickets to Hook & Newnham Basics.
In division two, Phil Loat (four for 20) spurred Havant II to a seven-wicket win over Totton & Eling II.
Portsmouth, however, suffered a 26-run defeat to Sparsholt in the same division.
In the division three derby, Waterlooville enjoyed the local bragging rights as they claimed a convincing six-wicket success over Portsmouth & Southsea.
With Portsmouth & Southsea bowled out for 192, James Scutt (90) laid the foundations for his side to ease to their victory target and push their neighbours deeper into relegation mire.