Havant CC bidding for sixth Southern Premier League T20 Cup win – Waterlooville aim to end 37-year trophy wait

Havant are bidding for a sixth Southern Premier League T20 Cup victory this weekend.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 4:42 pm
Havant CC pictured after winning the SPL T20 cup in 2020.

Chris Morgan’s side defend the trophy they won last year against fellow top flight outfit Hook & Newnham Basics under The Ageas Bowl floodlights on Sunday (7pm).

Winners of the first T20 knockout back in 2003, Havant have found Hampshire’s headquarters a happy hunting ground, having lifted the trophy there on four occasions.

Their only defeats came in 2012 when Bashley (Rydal) beat them off the last ball of a super over and again three years later when South Wilts chased down 157-5 to win by five wickets.

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Havant easily beat a weak Hampshire Academy side by eight wickets in last year’s final, which was held at Totton & Eling’s Southern Gardens ground.

Havant are at full strength apart from seam bowler Richard Jerry, who is away visiting family in India.

Jerry was the club’s leading wicket-taker in SPL Premier Division action in 2019, taking 29 wickets.

‘Richard was absolutely outstanding,’ reported Morgan. ‘He was the pick of our bowlers - in fact he was probably the pick of all our players.

‘I’m not massively into statistics, they can be a little bit misleading. I prefer to look at how players contribute to matches - that’s the most important thing.

‘If you’ve got a 15-man squad and everyone can produce one match-winning performance, that’s 15 wins - and that’s a successful season.’

Morgan admitted Havant’s 2021 season was ‘really peculiar’ due to the stop-start nature brought on by such a wet summer.

Havant lost seven of their 18 Premier Division games to rain and the skipper remarked: ‘We were getting games rained off on the day and that led to some frustration.

‘But we finished sixth, that was a good performance, and the 2nds won promotion (from the Hampshire League back into the SPL) which was the main thing.

‘The challenge for them next season will be to solidify their place in the Southern League.

‘They won promotion on their own - we didn’t give them any (first XI) players. Ben Walker played a couple of times but that was down to personal circumstances.’

Havant didn’t see a lot of action in the T20 Cup either, with both Ventnor and Rowledge pulling out of scheduled ties.

As a result, Havant only beat two teams to get to another final - South Wilts in the quarter-finals and Bashley in the last four.

To get more T20 practice, they took on Waterlooville - who play in Sunday’s SPL T20 Plate final - in a friendly earlier this month.

After Walker and Harry Gadd fell for ducks, Havant recovered from 6-2 to post 114-5 off their 20 overs.

Richard Hindley (42 not out), Pete Hopson (22) and Simon Loat (22) top scored before Ville were bowled out for 100 with four balls remaining.

Seven different bowlers got at least one wicket, with Hindley - who conceded 2-12 off his four overs - recording the best figures.

‘We won’t be lacking motivation, even though we’re lacking match practice,’ said Morgan.

‘It’s under lights, so that changes things a little bit.

‘We’ve used an orange ball so far (in the T20) but this time we’ll be using a white ball and that behaves a little bit differently.

‘At this time of the year there’s going to be some dew on the pitch - the ball can skid off the surface a bit more.

Havant: Ben Walker, Harry Gadd, Pete Hopson, Richard Hindley, Chris Morgan, Jez Bulled, Ollie Jones, Simon Loat, Pete Hayward, Fred Gadd, Alfie Taw.

Waterlooville face higher division Basingstoke & North Hants 1sts in the SPL Plate final at The Ageas Bowl at 3pm.

Ville, who play in Division 2 of the SPL, one tier lower than Basingstoke, last won a T20 tournament in 1984 when they stunned Jon Hardy’s Lymington.

Waterlooville: A Reynolds, C Jackson, A Shephard, J Hudson, S Reynolds, D Birch, T Jackson, A Silva, H Knight, S Robinson, S Hillman.

Admission to The Ageas Bowl for Sunday’s two finals is free of charge and ample public car parking is available.

- by Mike Vimpany and Simon Carter