Title-winners Sarisbury must wait for promotion party

Sarisbury Athletic, Southern Electric Premier League, division two champions 2012.'Standing (left-right): Keith Spicer (scorer), Matt Journeaux, James Ingram, Lewis Mitchard, Dan Goldstraw, Pete Hammond, Simon Orr, Chris Mottola, Dan Clouting, 'Front: Jack Lovett, Ricky Rawlins, Dave Banks, Archie Norris, Phil Jewell. Picture: Mike Vimpany
Sarisbury Athletic, Southern Electric Premier League, division two champions 2012.'Standing (left-right): Keith Spicer (scorer), Matt Journeaux, James Ingram, Lewis Mitchard, Dan Goldstraw, Pete Hammond, Simon Orr, Chris Mottola, Dan Clouting, 'Front: Jack Lovett, Ricky Rawlins, Dave Banks, Archie Norris, Phil Jewell. Picture: Mike Vimpany
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SARISBURY secured the division two title but now face an anxious wait to see if they are granted promotion to the premier division.

A tense two-wicket victory over OTs & Romsey was enough to secure the crown.

But the team could still be denied promotion because of a problem with their Allotment Road ground.

It is believed one of the boundaries is short of the minimum requirement and they could therefore be refused permission to go up.

Captain David Banks admits it will be a huge disappointment if the club are denied promotion.

‘We will be gutted if the League come back and say no,’ said Banks.

‘The club has come a heck of a long way in a short space of time.

‘Just three years ago we were still playing in the Hampshire League.

‘A lot of people have put in a lot of hard work to get us where we are now.

‘We have spent £40,000 on the clubhouse and have improved our facilities.

‘The outfield has been a major concern in the past but we have done a lot of work in that area. This season we have received a number of eights and a 10 from opponents for the state of our outfield.

‘The league did their inspection and we feel we have done everything we can to go up.

‘We are optimistic but just have to wait.’

On the field, Sarisbury could not have cut it any tighter before lifting the title.

The contest was set up perfectly, with hosts OTs needing to win to have any chance of staying up.

Banks was forced to watch from the sidelines due to injury.

And he saw his side slump to 114 all out after electing to bat.

Pete Hammond went for a duck but Matt Journeaux (41) produced a mature innings on a difficult wicket to give his side hope.

When OTs replied, a superb opening spell of tight bowling by James Ingram and Dan Goldstraw kept it tight to increase pressure on the home side.

Off-spinner Hammond (three for 37) and Phil Jewell (three for 14) put Sarisbury right back in it with OTs failing to hit a single boundary.

A dropped catch from stand-in captain Archie Norris, though, looked to be fatal.

The final OTs pair got to within two runs of the target with three balls left.

To his huge relief, though, Norris held on to a match-winning catch at the death.

‘It was so tense, every ball in the last five overs was watched in total silence by the sizeable crowd,’ said Banks.

The next week or so promises to be every bit as nervy for the club as they wait for the green light to go up.

Sarisbury’s success also proved a major boost for Hambledon.

The Dons’ survival hopes hinged on the OTs game – after they had lost a low-scoring match against Paultons by six wickets.

The home side were skittled out for just 86 runs, leaving the visitors with a relatively easy chase.

But thanks to Sarisbury’s narrow win, Hambledon will be playing in division two again next summer.

Burridge suffered a five-wicket defeat to Hook & Newnham Basics.

Matt Godwin hit 38 for Burridge and Sullivan White took three wickets but it was not enough.