Sarisbury out to take it all the way

Sarisbury batsman Ricky Rawlings Picture: Allan Hutchings
Sarisbury batsman Ricky Rawlings Picture: Allan Hutchings
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Matt Journeaux admits Sarisbury’s bid to escape the drop from the Southern Electric premier division may have wait for their final three fixtures.

Athletic travel to leaders South Wilts tomorrow as the format in the top flight reverts back to 50-over cricket.

And the Sarisbury skipper believes his side face a huge task in attempting to derail their opponents from what appears to be another title defence – especially after closest title rivals Havant were put to the sword so ruthlessly last weekend.

After slumping to the foot of the table following last week’s defeat to St Cross, Journeaux admits he is worried that his side may face an instant return to division one.

And he is realistic enough to know that a trip to South Wilts is unlikely to help them climb off the bottom this week as he assessed the relegation run-in.

He said: ‘You are always worried.

‘We’ve got South Wilts and Havant in our next two games so it looks like it will come down to our last couple of games against Bashley (Rydal) and Burridge.

‘It’s been frustrating in the past few weeks because we’ve been in winning positions and not been able to get the wins.

‘We’ve only ourselves to blame so it’s going to be a dogfight going into the final few games.

‘It could all come down to that Burridge game on the last weekend of the season, but we need to still be in with a chance at that point.

‘The other teams are playing each other over the next few weeks, whereas we’ve got the top two teams.

‘Alton, Ventnor and Burridge are all playing each other and one of those teams could pull away.

‘We need to win one and probably two of our last four games to stay up.

‘It’s going to be a tough ask to get anything out of this one.

‘I would never write it off but South Wilts are playing really well and have got the title to go and win, while we are missing a few players.

‘We know we could be looking at it where we have to win our last two games.

‘If we get a win from either of the next two games, it will be an absolute bonus.’

After years of pushing for promotion, Sarisbury finally achieved their ambition last term.

But just three league wins all summer have left them facing the prospect of another stint in division one next year.

Journeaux added: ‘You need a bit of perspective and it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

‘But it would be so frustrating because we are good enough to stay up.

‘At crucial times we haven’t been able to play our best cricket. When you get on a bad run, it happens.

‘We’ve had players missing at important times and a few other things, which haven’t helped.

‘But we are still going to give everything to stay up.

‘If we can do it, it means we can attract better players for next season.

‘It’s definitely a lot easier to stay in a league than it is to get promoted out of one, especially when it is only one up and one down.’

Sarisbury are without Ricky Rawlins and the injured Basil Akram for the trip to the County Ground.