Stone: Havant hungry for third straight title

Havant keeper Jez Bulled stumps Danny Cox off the bowling of Richard Lindley  Picture: Neil Marshall
Havant keeper Jez Bulled stumps Danny Cox off the bowling of Richard Lindley Picture: Neil Marshall
James Vince saw his side battle on a tough day. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Jon Hudson. Picture: Mick Young

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Chris Stone believes Havant fired a warning to their Southern League premier division rivals that his troops have lost none of their hunger.

The reigning champions began their bid for a third successive title in impressive fashion.

They cruised to a seven-wicket win against Lymington at Havant Park on Saturday, claiming maximum points in the process.

Stone was delighted to see his team carry on where they left off last season.

‘If anything I think we are even hungrier this season,’ said the new captain.

‘To go out and make it a hat-trick of titles would be a wonderful achievement.

‘That is our target for the season. We will be doing everything we can to crack on just as we have in the past two seasons.

‘The club has enjoyed the success and the appetite is still there to keep it going.

‘It was nice to make the best possible start in our defence of the title.’

Despite the New Forest side opting to bat first, it was the hosts who made a dream start.

Andrew Gorvin (three for 29) removed one of the visiting openers with his third ball and not a run on the scoreboard.

That set the tone for the home bowlers with Rich Jerry, Cameron Prentice and Graham Burns all very economical.

Veteran off-spinner Richard Hindley also weighed in with a couple of wickets.

Lymington were bowled out for 135 but Havant’s reply was far from plain sailing.

The fall of Stuart Ransley, Stone and Pete Hopson left them wavering on 45 for three.

But Gorvin (61 not out) and Harry Gadd (35 not out) shared a 91-run fourth-wicket partnership to surpass Lymington’s total with seven 
wickets in hand.

Meanwhile, Burridge surprised South Wilts with a 25-run win at Lower Bemerton.

Rick Ankers praised his side’s all-round team performance.

The captain said: ‘I can’t remember in all my years in league cricket a better, more rounded and polished team performance.

‘Every member of the team contributed. When batting we built 
partnerships when we needed to.

‘Then we bowled in the right areas and backed it up with good fielding.’

Lee Savident and Joe Collings-Wells gave the visitors a solid start by putting on 62 for the first wicket, with William Steward notching an impressive 57.

Burridge finished on 240 for eight from their 50 overs.

The home side were restricted to 215 for nine in reply, with 17-year-old Ollie Southon grabbing figures of three for 44.