Portchester skipper proud despite title heartbreak

Portchester captain Tom Adams. Picture: Paul Jacobs (141667-7)
Portchester captain Tom Adams. Picture: Paul Jacobs (141667-7)
Hampshire's James Vince hits a six during the NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston, Birmingham. PPP-170309-212743001

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There was heartbreak for Portchester as rain snatched away their chance of lifting the Hampshire League division one title for the first time in their history.

Tom Adams’ team topped the table going into the final day, only to have their game at Purbrook called off mid-morning because of an unplayable pitch.

Half of the players then made the agonising journey to witness main rivals Lymington II win at Ellingham and snatch the top-flight crown from their grasp.

‘As you can imagine we are totally gutted,’ said Portchester captain Adams.

‘The most frustrating thing is that we didn’t get a chance to win it when it really mattered.

‘I was up at Purbrook first thing in the morning and the game was never going to take place.

‘There was standing water on the outfield and it’s probably still there now.

‘We feel a little bit robbed but there is nothing we can do about that.

‘It was still our best-ever season and I am proud of all my players and what they achieved.’

In contrast, there were reasons for celebration in the Gosport Borough camp.

They claimed a three-wicket success at Hook & Newnham Basics II.

And the victory saw them snatch third place ahead of Ventnor II and put themselves in the frame for a return to Southern Electric Premier League cricket.

Portchester’s ground is not accredited to make the move up to the higher level.

And that means Gosport Borough could take their place in the fourth tier of the competition next season.

‘We believe we fulfil all the necessary criteria and we would hope to be promoted,’ said secretary John Hawes.

‘Having been out of Southern Electric Premier League cricket for two years it would be nice to get back.

‘The most pleasing thing is that we have got where we are with basically a very young team.

‘Most of them have come through our own colts set-up where a lot of people have put in a lot of very hard work.

‘That applies to the club as a whole and we feel Privett Park is a nice place to play cricket.

‘Our overseas player Shaun McCarthy has made a big impact.

‘Michael Jenkins has got runs and Craig Stares has taken wickets.

‘But all the players have made a significant contribution at some stage.’

After winning the toss, Gosport Borough invited Hook & Newnham Basics II to bat first on Saturday.

And they soon had the hosts in trouble at 55 for five with Richard Edwards (three for 25) claiming their top three batsmen.

Tom Larner (three for 34) and Simon Creal (two for 36) provided able support.

Hook eventually stumbled to 177 for nine off their 50 overs, leaving the visitors in a strong position.

Lee Harrop (28) and McCarthy (33) then gave Borough a solid start in reply – putting on 44 runs for the first wicket.

Borough were never in any danger as Creal (33) and Larner (37 not out) saw them easily to the target.