Burridge rout St Cross to claim first ever Southern Premier League title

Burridge celebrate winning the Southern Premier  League title for the first time. Picture  by Mike VimpanyBurridge celebrate winning the Southern Premier  League title for the first time. Picture  by Mike Vimpany
Burridge celebrate winning the Southern Premier League title for the first time. Picture by Mike Vimpany
Burridge celebrated their maiden Southern Premier League crown by hammering St Cross in a remarkable last-day title decider.

In a winner takes all fixture, Burridge routed the defending champions for just 66 en route to an eight-wicket success.

As a result, they became the seventh club to win the title since the competition became a registered ECB Premier League in 2000.

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Burridge now add their name to a list headed by Havant (8 titles) and also featuring South Wilts, St Cross, Bashley, BAT and Bournemouth.

Going into the final game, the margin between the clubs could hardly have been tighter - St Cross’ average points per game was 17.91, compared to Burridge’s 17.79.

But there was a gulf between them after Joe Collings-Well won the toss and invited the visitors to bat first.

Remarkably, four St Cross batters were to be dismissed first ball, including three of the top six, as Burridge bowlers ran amok.

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And that was despite the hosts being without their injured leading SPL wicket-taker, Inayah Ullah, who has taken 31 wickets in his first season in the SPL after stepping up from Hampshire Leaguers RAM.

Jack Bransgrove was the first St Cross batter to go, bowled by the final ball of Ollie Southon’s opening over, the second of the innings.

No 3 Harry Trussler was the first to collect a golden duck, bowled by White off the fourth ball of the third over.

It was 22-3 when Southon (3-17) dismissed Joseph Lewis and next ball Charlie Mumford also had his stumps rearranged.

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St Cross’ shocking start went from bad to worse when Dan Stancliffe picked up two wickets with his first two deliveries.

Brought into the attack for the 13th over, he bowled Hampshire’s Felix Organ (5) before St Cross skipper Ed Ellis was caught by Ben White off the next ball.

That left St Cross 30-6 and in disarray.

Charlie Gwynn (22) and Simon Woodruff (14) added 33 for the seventh wicket, the highest stand of the innings.

That was ended when Will Donald dismissed Gwynn with the fourth ball of his first over - and then trapped Harry Foyle leg before next ball!

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Donald was to end with figures of 0-3 off two overs after bowling Woodruff.

And Stancliffe (3-25) wrapped up the innings when he dismissed Sam Beer - the seventh St Cross batter to be bowled - with the first ball of the 25th innings.

When the sides had met on July 1, South African opener Matt Goles hammered an unbeaten 146 in Burridge’s two-wicket success.

Due to St Cross’ batting woes, he never got the chance to make a fourth SPL century of the summer.

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He still managed a half-century, though, hitting five fours and three sixes in a 45-ball unbeaten 51.

His team-mates provided just eight between them as Goles helped Burridge reach their target – and their sixth successive league win - in ultra-quick time.

He smacked a six off the second ball of the 12th over, bowled by Gwynn, and ensured the title celebrations could start in earnest when he smacked the next delivery to the boundary, bringing up his half-century in the process.

St Cross actually finished third, overhauled by six-times champions South Wilts as well as Burridge on the final day.

For Burridge, it was the first part of a potential league and cup double – they face Alton in the SPL T20 Cup final at South Wilts later this month.