Ville celebrate but plan works well for Fareham

Waterloville players celebrate promotion. Picture: Keith Woodland (132350-961)
Waterloville players celebrate promotion. Picture: Keith Woodland (132350-961)
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Waterlooville clinched promotion but Fareham & Crofton kept their survival chances alive in Hampshire League division one.

Despite losing the match, the eight points picked up by the home side at Bath Lane could prove crucial in their relegation fight.

Fareham & Crofton are now in the driving seat, knowing a win against Lymington II in their final match on Saturday will see them survive.

While Waterlooville powered towards a celebration party, Charlie Stubbs admitted Fareham played a tactical game in the later stages to keep their fate in their own hands.

The acting skipper said: ‘When we were 80 for three at drinks, chasing 248, I told the players we had to re-evaluate,’ said Stubbs.

‘I knew we were unlikely to win at that stage and had been on the calculator working out what we needed.

‘Our closest rivals Old Basing had lost their game to the weather so if we could pick up eight points by scoring 175 we would put ourselves in the driving seat.

‘We went on to achieve that and know if we win our final game we will be safe.’

The home side reduced Ville to 16 for three after eight overs.

That included the prize wicket of South African star Byron Haycock.

Sixteen-year-old Ben White, who has just finished his GCSEs, took three for 35 with Haycock caught by Angus Southon in the gully.

After 25 overs,Ville only had 70 on the scoreboard.

But they stormed back to show why they are unbeaten this summer.

‘We were in dreamland early on but we knew that sides like Ville won’t be rolled over easily,’ said Stubbs.

‘They bat right the way down and we dropped a couple of catches.’

Alex Shephard hit a magnificent 95 and Max Goddard (60) chipped in with an important innings.

Youngster Southon (47 not out) led the way in Fareham’s reply.

And his team were happy to settle for the points they needed to keep them in pole position to stay up.

Stubbs said: ‘The average age of our team is under 20 and it has been a steep learning curve.

‘We stayed up on the last day of last season and are looking to do the same again.

‘Though we are a young team we can keep our nerve and still go out and enjoy ourselves.

‘Our efforts this year bode well for next season we just have to stay up.’

Waterlooville clinched promotion and are on the brink of winning the title with an unbeaten record.

‘We will be aiming to achieve that at Locks Heath in our final game.’ said captain Jon Hudson.