Portsmouth pay their respects with a win

Havant's Tim Jackson in action. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (131418-4)
Havant's Tim Jackson in action. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (131418-4)
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Portsmouth delivered a fitting tribute to their scorer John Harvey, who died on Friday, as they stormed to the top of the Southern Electric Premier League division three table with a victory over promotion rivals Havant II.

James Scott’s side clinched a five-wicket win to leap to the summit.

They bowled Havant out for 193 on their own track – with only Ollie Jones (57) delivering a significant contribution.

Liam Duffield (three for 22) and Vickram Dawson (three for 38) did most of the damage with the ball, while Andrew Marston’s tight spell (one for 30) was also vital.

Rob Jones (60) then led the way for Portsmouth, allowing others to bat around him as they got home with three overs to spare.

But Scott was quick to pay tribute to the loyal club servant who lost his brave battle with cancer and was still scoring up until recently.

Scott said: ‘John had been fighting it for the past couple of years.

‘He always loved his cricket and just wanted to be a part of the club.

‘He used to coach our under-13s as well.

‘He was a great bloke and we will all miss him hugely.

‘We wore black armbands as a mark of respect.

‘When I spoke to his wife, she asked us to win for him and we’re all glad we managed to do that.

‘But it wasn’t just us, the seconds and the thirds won as well, so it was a good club effort.’

Aside from the emotion of the day, Scott felt it was a perfect response from his troops to last week’s defeat to St Cross II.

He said: ‘Last week’s loss probably gave us the kick up the backside that we needed.

‘Every team needs to remember what it feels like to lose and what it feels like to win. It made the boys hungry.

‘It was a fantastic win and it was a big win.

‘If we want to look for promotion, it was a game I felt we had to win.

‘But it was a good team effort, everyone pitched in and played a part.’

Havant II made a positive start as Tim Jackson (15) and Jones put on 58 for the first wicket.

But 151 for four soon became 193 all out.

Scott identified a key period in the middle of the Havant II innings that saw Dawson and Marston get on top of the Havant batsmen.

He said: ‘Playing Havant, we know they are always consistently good.

‘They were cruising and they should have got to 250 or 300 on that track.

‘But that spell from Vickram and Andrew made a big difference.

‘They bowled a fantastic spell in the middle of the game and got some big wickets. That was huge.

‘I think the boys got a bit complacent last week but they responded well and we’re back on top of the league, which is great.

‘We knew we had to work hard to get the win but we did that.’