WATERLOOVILLE came up with the perfect response to losing their unbeaten record as they blitzed Southern Electric Premier League division three leaders Trojans to return to the top of the table.
Max Goddard’s side had opened the season with six straight wins but suffered a surprise defeat to South Wilts II last weekend.
But faced with a top-of-the-table showdown to test their character, they delivered an emphatic performance to record a 231-run success.
Ville posted a hefty 305 for eight from their 50 overs, which was enough to crank up the scoreboard pressure on the Southampton-based outfit.
James Scutt (71) and Tim Jackson (24) put on 65 for the first wicket before Sam Williams (42) helped to add 82 runs for the third wicket.
Scutt’s departure then sparked a mini-collapse as Ville went from 147 for one to 161 for five.
But Alex Shephard (90 not out) built another 82-run stand alongside Sam Hillman (29) for the sixth wicket and then fired his side beyond the 300-mark in his 67-ball stay.
The Trojans batsmen had chased down some big totals in their bright start to the season and the target was certainly not beyond reach on a good batting deck.
But they crumbled this time around as they were rolled out for just 74 as Hillman (four for 22) and Jon Hudson (four for 24) turned the screw and took advantage of some rash shots.
Delighted skipper Goddard said: ‘We trounced them really.
‘I lost the toss and they bowled first because there was a bit of rain in the air, but it came back to bite them.
‘I would have bowled first as well but the wicket was so good that the toss didn’t matter too much.
‘We got off to a flyer at the start of the innings, then had a bit of a wobble in the middle but we recovered well.
‘Alex Shephard then came in and played brilliantly.
‘I probably would have taken 250 so I was well pleased with 300.
‘Then they (Trojans) came out swinging, panicked a bit and got themselves out
‘They lost some early wickets and I thought they might have tried to rebuild a bit at that point but they just kept swinging.
‘I suppose the result was a bit of a statement but I’m sure it will be closer when we play them again.
‘We had a very good day and I think they had a very bad day.’
While Goddard insisted he was not too concerned at a first loss of the season last week, he was well pleased with the response.
He said: ‘We had a good chat before the game about backing our own ability. The response was exactly what we wanted.
‘When you lose one game, you can start doubting yourselves a bit.
‘So to come back like that was fantastic.’