Slade feels the noise for Havant

Joe Slade held his nerve for Havant II. Picture: Mick Young (121421-02)
Joe Slade held his nerve for Havant II. Picture: Mick Young (121421-02)
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Joe Slade held his nerve as Havant II stayed top of Southern Electric Premier League division three thanks to a thrilling one-run win over St Cross II.

The Havant seamer had the unenviable task of bowling the final over with St Cross needing just five runs to overhaul Havant’s 209 all out.

With tail-ender Tayyab Farooq on strike and Kevin Neave (52) well set, it looked bleak for Andy Galliers’ side.

After a couple of singles and a wide, Farooq was back on strike still requiring two runs from three balls.

But after another dot ball, the pressure finally told and panic took hold as Neave set off for a single, while Farooq stood motionless.

That allowed Slade to field, nip back to break the wicket and seal the game for Havant II in a frantic finalé.

Pete Hayward (47) and Ollie Jones (44) were the stand-out performers with the bat for Havant II in their total.

Galliers (four for 34) then gave his side hope as they dragged themselves back into a contest they had no right to win.

Jones said: ‘Joe did really well at the end and kept his nerve.

‘He got it into the blockhole and bowled slower balls. He did a great job.

‘St Cross should have won the game, though.

‘We were about 20 runs short of where we needed to be.

‘We were down and out with about 25 overs to go but then Galliers brought himself on and ended up taking four wickets.

‘They were cruising and looked in control.

‘But we stayed in it and everyone was going mad at the end after a win like that.’

It was a good league weekend for the club as the first team cruised to a seven-wicket win at St Cross in the premier division.

An impressive bowling display saw St Cross in real trouble at 62 for five, although they recovered to 205 for six.

But Rob Gibson (103 not out) struck the first century of the campaign for Richard Hindley’s men.

Meanwhile, Pete Hopson (44) and Harry Hovey (23 not out) ensured Havant got home inside 45 overs.