Dave Chisholm came out of retirement on his 45th birthday and grabbed four wickets to steer Portsmouth & Southsea to a crucial victory.
The former skipper, who has not played a match all season, answered the SOS from Dave Tiller as he attempted to stop the slide towards relegation from Southern Electric Premier League division three.
And the slow left-armer Chisholm responded with four for 39 to restrict Trojans to 169 – a target Tiller’s men knocked off with only four wickets down thanks to an unbeaten 68 from Matt Benfield.
Tiller smiled: ‘Dave is a proper club man.
‘Apart from myself, there isn’t anyone over the age of 25 – so I felt I needed a bit more experience out there on the field.
‘He is officially retired and wasn’t planning on getting his whites out this year.
‘But I was in a situation where I was struggling.
‘He didn’t take too much persuading – he is one of those guys who wants to help out.
‘He couldn’t promise what he was going to produce but he said he is a wily old so-and-so and I just told him to bowl as he has done for 30-odd years.
‘He doesn’t spin it hugely – if at all.
‘But he bowls slowly and puts it on the spot and it is quite hard to get away. That was enough.
‘They couldn’t come up with any answers to him.
‘And now he is on the teamsheet again for next week!’
Trojans looked on course for a decent total as they reached 124 for three.
But they then lost their last seven wickets for just 45 runs with Tiller also chipping in with three for 27.
He said: ‘It was probably the worst I’ve bowled this season and I took three wickets.
‘I bowled seven overs, I wasn’t very good and took myself off. It wasn’t coming out right.
‘But it happens that way sometimes and it was better when I came back.’
The chase did not get off to the best of starts with the first two wickets falling with just 38 runs on the board.
But Benfield and Jack Davies (34) shared a 96-run stand.
The returning Alex Fletcher (21 not out) then joined Benfield to finish the job.
Tiller said: ‘We definitely needed that win.
‘We’ve had a few games this season where we got ourselves into good positions but couldn’t get the job done.
‘But having seen Trojans’ results, it was a game I felt we could win and thankfully we did the business this time.’
With the confidence boosted and Chisholm pencilled in to retain his place next week, Tiller believes his side are good enough to pull away from relegation trouble.
He said: ‘The season starts now for us.
‘We have to forget about what has happened so far.
‘We were starting to find ourselves cut adrift but there is a little group that we have got to start looking to catch now.
‘We’ve got some important games coming up but getting this win gives everyone a lift again.’