Gosport ready for a title charge

Craig Stares, right, impressed for Gosport. Picture: Paul Jacobs
Craig Stares, right, impressed for Gosport. Picture: Paul Jacobs
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New Hampshire signing Sam Northeast  Picture: Tom Dulat/Getty Images

Hampshire head to Northeast for success

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Gosport Borough captain Tom Larner has challenged his players to win the Hampshire League division one title.

In-form Borough overcame a slight blip, before cruising to a 97-run win over struggling Sarisbury Athletic II.

Larner wants to see his side push on and win their final five games to give themselves a chance of finishing as champions.

‘We can still win it,’ said Larner.

‘Last season we won our final seven games and I don’t see any reason why we can’t do that again.

‘If we do, then promotion back up to Southern Electric cricket will be on the cards.

‘All the other top teams still have to play each other which gives us a chance.

‘We feel ready to go back up and be competitive after two years back in the Hampshire League.’

The win over Sarisbury Athletic was comfortable in the end, though Borough had problems early on.

After winning the toss, a combination of good bowling and a couple of poor shots left Borough floundering on 80 for five.

Craig Stares (56) and captain Larner (80 not out) led the recovery with an impressive seventh-wicket partnership.

‘It is good to see Craig starting to find his form,’ said Larner.

‘He is the first to admit that he has not been at his best with the bat but this first fifty of the season will help.

‘I also enjoyed making a contribution with the bat for a change.’

Borough finally reached 250 for eight off their 50 overs and soon made inroads into the fragile Sarisbury batting.

The visitors lost three wickets in the opening eight overs of their reply, with Rich Edwards claiming two with the new ball.

Stares then finished the match off as a contest by ripping out the middle order with four wickets.

It was another desperate afternoon for Sarisbury captain Jon Floyd.

Floyd admitted Borough were too good for his depleted side.

They now face a desperate battle to avoid going straight back down into division two.

‘Having two players called up into the first team late in the week didn’t help,’ said Floyd.

‘We had them in trouble at 80 for five but lacked the extra firepower in our bowling to finish them off.

‘That has happened a couple of times to us this summer.

‘It shows in this league teams bat right the way down the order.

‘Our batting was far too frail and we ended up getting thumped.’

Floyd recognises his team’s fate will be decided in the next three weeks.

They face home games against Fareham & Crofton and Locks Heath.

And they also visit to United Services.

They are all games Floyd believes his team can win.

He said: ‘Hopefully we will go into them with a full-strength side.’