Why Gosport Borough can snatch Southern League survival

Gosport Borough captain Tom Larner hit 43
Gosport Borough captain Tom Larner hit 43
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Lee Harrop has backed Gosport Borough to haul themselves out of relegation trouble in Southern League division three.

The Privett Park outfit have a huge fight on their hands after a 117-run division three defeat at table-topping Fair Oak on Saturday.

There are four teams within a point of each other in the relegation dogfight – with two games remaining.

And Harrop is backing his team to survive.

‘We know exactly what we have to do.’ said the vice-captain.

‘The short answer is we have to win both our final games.

‘It is not beyond the realms of possibility for us to stay up.

‘A couple of good performances and we should be fine.

‘We have to hold our nerve and accept that – as a club – we have a real battle on our hands.

‘Our problem has been the failure to pick up enough bonus points.

‘Other teams have not won as many games as us but have picked up more points.

‘Batting-wise we have not applied ourselves well enough.’

Borough were always going to be up against it at Fair Oak, who have lost just once all season.

Even so they acquitted themselves well and reduced their hosts on 95 for five at one stage.

Unfortunately, after drinks the hosts launched a massive onslaught which propelled them to 323 for nine.

At that stage Borough made a tactical decision to go for bonus points rather than trying to win.

‘We knew their total was beyond us, so we needed to bat sensibly,’ added vice-captain Harrop.

‘If we had gone out gung-ho then we could easily have been bowled out cheaply and not picked up any points.

‘This time we applied ourselves and showed a good determination to stick around at the crease.’

Captain Tom Larner (43) did well at the top of the order.

But it was Robert Wood (44) who stepped up to the plate.

Promoted from the third team at the last minute, he and Gavin King (51 not out) helped Borough, who closed on 206 for nine, to some valuable batting points.