Bulled ready for Havant’s title-decider

Havant wicketkeeper Jez Bulled knows tomorrow's game with South Wilts is a winner-takes-all clash Picture: Mick Young
Havant wicketkeeper Jez Bulled knows tomorrow's game with South Wilts is a winner-takes-all clash Picture: Mick Young
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Jez Bulled has warned his Havant team-mates: It’s up to us if we want to be champions.

The top two in the Southern Electric premier division go head-to-head tomorrow, with most seeing it as the weekend when the title will be decided.

Leaders South Wilts currently have a 16-point advantage over their nearest rivals, but Havant know that victory in Salisbury could put them in pole position for the final four games of the campaign.

Wicketkeeper Bulled knows the importance of the game, especially as Havant lost the final-day decider last season as South Wilts took the crown.

And he does not expect any favours from the rest of the teams in the league over the course of the run-in if Havant are unable to do the job themselves.

‘The game last season was a cup final – it was winner takes all,’ said Bulled.

‘This is similar, even though there are a few games to go afterwards.

‘I would think this is the game that will determine everything.

‘So I doubt we can afford to lose this one and still win the title.

‘I think we have to win or at least get a draw to keep the hopes alive.

‘When you get to the end of the season and you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I don’t think we would slip up and I don’t think South Wilts would slip up either.

‘When you can see the title that close, it gives you that extra bit of incentive.

‘So we know what we have to do.

‘We can’t rely on anyone else to help us out.’

Havant will be underdogs in the eyes of most people and their task is not made any easier as they could be without three key players.

Ben Walker and Chris Morgan are both definitely missing, while Chris Stone is also doubtful.

But while South Wilts have enjoyed the supremacy in recent times, they have also shown they can be beaten.

Havant enjoyed a significant win over their rivals in the ECB National Cup earlier this season.

And South Wilts also went down to a shock defeat at Lymington recently.

Bulled said: ‘We are a bit under strength so that is unfortunate, but we have players capable of stepping up.

‘South Wilts have had the upper hand the past couple of times when we have played them in the league.

‘They are in a position where they are used to winning and they don’t see themselves ever losing.

‘Five years ago we would beat all and sundry but it has swapped around a bit.

‘Now it’s South Wilts who have won three league titles in a row.

‘So not only have we got to do our best to match them on the field but we’ve also got to do the mental element of beating them as well.

‘But we beat them in the National Cup, which is a good omen so we know we can do it.’

Although South Wilts have several players who can change the course of the game, Australian fast bowler Ryan Duffield remains a major threat to Havant’s hopes.

‘They were a very good side anyway and they have got better with Duffield,’ added Bulled.

‘Things might suit him with a bit of rain around this week but he will be a handful, whatever the conditions.

‘Hopefully, we have got Brad Wheal as well, who can be just as dangerous.’