Fareham & Crofton celebrated the official opening of their new Bath Lane pavilion with a three-run derby win over Purbrook in Hampshire League division one.
Both teams served up a contest fit for mayor of Fareham Michael Ford, who was there to perform the pre-match ceremony.
For home captain Luke Gould, the result was the perfect end to the club’s big day.
‘It was a great day for the club and it was nice to crown it with a win,’ said the skipper.
‘That’s three years in a row we have come out on top against our biggest local rivals and it is good to keep our stranglehold over them.
‘They pushed us all the way but for the second week running we came out the right side of a tight game.
‘We almost let them off the hook with some dropped catches but came back strong at the end.’
Openers Sam Stoddart and Tom Kent gave the hosts a solid start after Gould won the toss and decided to bat.
Gould (15) made a useful contribution at three but when the home side lost Ben Kissane cheaply they found themselves in a bit of trouble at 60 for three.
Matt Gould (34) and Luke Cornish (48 not out) then rescued the situation – taking Fareham to 140 runs with 10 overs still to go.
‘They gave us the springboard to go on and close on 195 for six which we felt was good enough to win it,’ said the captain.
Purbrook skipper Martin Lee felt his side were still in with a chance.
‘We had bowled well, patiently putting the ball in the right areas and restricting their total,’ he said.
‘I think Fareham felt they should have scored a few more.
‘We knew all we had to do to win was keep wickets in hand and bat out the overs.
‘Unfortunately, apart from Josh Spiers the rest of our top order failed to get going and didn’t do as well as they should have.’
Sam Pearce, who had been the pick of the Purbrook bowlers taking four wickets, fell early – caught behind off the bowling of Luke Gould.
Josh Spiers (38) provided the main resistance but the visitors looked dead and buried at 120 for seven.
Debut-making 16-year-old Jonty Peach (45) refused to give up the fight, though.
And along with Matthew Lee, he hauled Purbrook back into contention.
‘It was a terrific effort from Jonty,’ said Martin Lee.
All the time the teenager was at the wicket, Purbrook had a chance.
But with two overs remaining he fell to a yorker from Darra Hagan.
‘It could have gone either way at that stage,’ said Luke Gould.
‘They needed 16 off the last two overs but we got over the line by three runs.’
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