Harrop ton sparks Gosport survival hopes

Lee Harrop on his way to a match-winning century against Totton & Eling. Picture: Steve Reid (122515-475)
Lee Harrop on his way to a match-winning century against Totton & Eling. Picture: Steve Reid (122515-475)
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Lee Harrop’s brilliant 150 not out steered Gosport Borough to their first Southern Electric Premier League victory of the season.

And with it he breathed new life into their hopes of staying in division three.

Borough were winless before their home clash with high-flying Totton & Eling II and looked destined for an immediate return to the Hampshire League after promotion last season.

But rather than throwing in the towel against a side battling for promotion, the Privett Park outfit turned in one of their best displays of the campaign.

Opener Harrop hammered 19 fours in his 177-ball innings to help his side to 270 for four and seal success by 88 runs.

Skipper Simon Creal, who was a frustrated spectator having undergone a minor operation during the week, believes Borough can now build on their victory and clamber out of danger.

He said: ‘I hate standing there watching because I want to hit every shot and bowl every ball.

‘But it was really pleasing to see the lads perform so well. Finally, we posted a decent score.

‘It proves we are good enough for this league by a long shot.

‘We have not been getting rolled over every week.

‘Had we had a bit of luck a couple of times, it could have been a very different season.

‘And after some close defeats, it would be easy for them to rock up thinking they are going to get stuffed.

‘But they’ve shown how stubborn they can be.’

While Harrop led the scoring, he did benefit from a some shoddy fielding from Totton & Eling II as he was twice put down early in his knock.

Creal said: ‘It was a great knock by Lee.

‘He got dropped a couple of times quite early on but we’ve been saying all year we just needed that little bit of luck.

‘He got that and made the most of it and batted really well.

‘He plays all around the wicket but he makes it look effortless at times and was due a big score.’

Mark Oxford (three for 26) and Tom Larner (three for 42) then followed up Harrop’s exploits with the bat to bowl the visitors out for 182.

And now Borough will be attempting to back up their first win with another one at home to basement boys Easton & Martyr Worthy next weekend. And Creal believes there is still hope of a late run to safety.

He said: ‘We’ve still got a chance of getting out of it. We’ve got ourselves back into the mix.

‘If we can win next week, we will be peaking at the right time. We have seen teams string a few wins together at this stage of a season and it makes all the difference when you have got that momentum.

‘I just hope I can get back in the side!’