Burridge play down late charge for title
Burridge showed their determination to chase Havant all the way to the finish line in the Southern League premier division title race with a fourth successive victory.
The five-wicket win over St Cross at Botley Road kept second-placed Burridge in the mix.
With two games left to play, they are 20 points adrift of the leaders – with the clubs set for a mouthwatering clash on the final day of the season.
However, Burridge vice-captain Dan Hewitt is playing down the prospect of overhauling favourites Havant.
‘We are playing good cricket at the moment at just the right time,’ he said.
‘Havant are a very good side and at no stage during the season have we looked like overtaking them.
‘Our priority is to just keep on winning.
‘If we win next week then we will have to look and see if that puts anything on the line on the final day.
‘At the moment we are focused on finishing at the top of the 50-over table and if we win our last two games then we will have achieved that.’
Burridge went into the St Cross game knowing their opponents were a dangerous outfit.
With the likes of Joe Weatherley, Adam Rouse and Tom Foyle in their side, they possess a number of match-winners.
After the visitors opted to bat, Burridge removed all three before they could inflict much damage. Weatherley was caught at point off the bowling of Dan Stancliffe.
Hewitt had Foyle caught behind and Geoff Dods (three for 27) got the scalp of Rouse.
‘Dodsy came on and bowled a breakthrough over just at a time when the two teams were level pegging,’ added Hewitt.
‘We knew if Rouse hung around for any period of time he could do a lot of damage.
‘Sullivan White (three for 28) came on, mopped up the tail and bowled St Cross out for 181.
‘I felt that was below par on that wicket.’
When Burridge made their reply, debut-making Alex Willoughby (49) proved the star of the show.
The 16-year-old, who is a pupil at Portsmouth Grammar School, showed no sign of nerves as he made an instant impact opening the batting.
‘Alex did fantastically well and showed he is more than good enough to play at this level,’ said Hewitt.
‘We were short of an opening bat and he took his opportunity with both hands.
‘The way he manipulated the St Cross fielders was exceptional.
‘That is something that isn’t easy to do but he came in and delivered.’
Dods (42 not out) and Will Steward (30 not out) put on 67 for the sixth wicket to guide Burridge home with just over six overs remaining.