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South Wilts complete double
SOUTH Wilts have completed a ECB Southern Electric Premier League and Electric t20 Cup double.
They partied long into the night after clinching a second consecutive title with a convincing nine-wicket win over Bashley (Rydal) at Bemerton.
It was the fourth time a club had won the double, South Wilts following in the proud footsteps of BAT Sports in 2006 and Havant twice, in 2007 and again in 2011.
Tom Morton and Jack Mynott hit undefeated centuries as South Wilts chased down Bashley’s 233-9 to win with nine overs to spare.
“It was a truly emphatic victory – and one we needed,” reflected a relieved James Hayward, South Wilts’ captain, one of several front line players unavailable for Saturday’s final game against Ventnor at Newclose.
“It’s always harder to defend a cup as everyone wants to beat you the next year and we’re all pretty exhausted.
“We’ve played a lot more cricket this season and asked a lot of the players, who have given great commitment all summer long.
South Wilts cruised to a ninth victory of the season in the end – but first they had to overcome Bashley skipper Richard Morris, who was in superb form for the visitors.
Morris warmed up for Berkshire’s Minor Counties Trophy final against Cheshire at Wormsley by hitting 101, smashing nine sixes in the process – seven off spinner Rob Franklin, operating at the scorebox end of the ground, several of which sailed out of the ground.
“It was a fantastic knock. Richard is a class act,” Hayward conceded.
Three other Bashley batsmen – Nick Baker (27), Simon Watkins (21) and Simon Dean (22) – got past 20 as the visitors reached 233-9, Hayward finishing with 3-27.
When South Wilts replied, Owain Phillips (17) perished at 38-1 – but that was Bashley’s solitary success.
Morton and Mynott ruled the roost after that, both hitting centuries as Bashley’s weakened bowling attack was mercilessly put to the sword.
Morton powered a six and 13 fours, while Mynott brought up his maiden Premier Division hundred with 14 boundaries, two coming off his legs.
“There were a few headaches the next day, but somehow we managed to get a team into the field for the Jack Wilcox t20 Trophy,” Hayward laughed.
South Wilts thrashed Goatacre – teenager Harry Hawkins dropping a few hints about his first team potential with a six-strewn knock – but losing to Corsham in the final.
“I’m afraid the previous 24 hours took its toll and we’re weren’t up for it,” Hayward confessed.
South Wilts seconds look set to miss out on a Southern Electric Premier Division 3 promotion ticket, despite winning 11 of their 15 matches this season.
Portsmouth have already won the title and Havant will finish runners-up, provided they pick up four bonus points from their final match with Basingstoke & North Hants II.
It was against Basingstoke that South Wilts scored their latest success.
They posted 185 at May’s Bounty before restricting Basingstoke for 156- 9 to record a 29-run win.
South Wilts, who gave a debut to 14- year-old William Wade, wobbled at 39- 3 before Luke Hansford (44), Jon Burton (20), Paul Draper and Marc Burton gave the innings some substance.
Teenage tormentors Tom Bolam (3- 25) and Marc Burton (2-19), coupled with the more experienced Dom Ducellier, had Basingstoke rocking at 34-5 after tea.
Opener Richard Vinn (38) and 16- year-old Brad Neal (37) added 79 before ’Stoke lost three more quick wickets. Keith Harris (26) and the tail denied South Wilts an extra bonus point as Ducellier finished with 3-34.