Title setback for defending champions

Damien Mortimer

Damien Mortimer

First published in Headlines by

THE Southern Electric twenty20 cup winning celebrations, however, were caught short when Lymington – the victims of a hammering under the Ageas Bowl floodlights – knocked the Bemerton club’s Premier Division championship double dream off course in a remarkable 24-hour turnaround.

Jubilant after their 106- run cup final success, South Wilts were brought down to earth with a thud when Lymington beat them by six wickets in front of their own Wilton Road followers, writes Mike Vimpany.

The result, which coincided with Havant winning with some ease at St Cross Symondians, cost South Wilts the Premier leadership.

They go into Saturday’s visit to relegation battlers Burridge nine points behind Havant.

But, with the sides set to meet in what promises to be a winner-take-all showdown on the last day of the campaign Saturday week, former skipper James Hayward is relatively unconcerned.

“Losing the league game so quickly after winning the twenty20 cup was just one of those things that happens.

“We had a bad day at the office,” Hayward reflected.

“It was not a case of us hitting the town and celebrating long into the night – far from it.

“We had a few beers at the Ageas Bowl and went home to bed. Perhaps we should have gone out!

“But it’s all going to come down to the last game and that will be a fantastic finale for the league.”

Lymington’s Australia under 19 all-rounder Damien Mortimer, pictured, almost single-handedly swept Lymington to a six-wicket revenge win.

Virtually everyone in the South Wilts top order got going – Ryan Burl (42) and Tom Morton (36) hitting well.

“But no one went on to make a big one, which we really needed,” Hayward added.

“To be fair, Mortimer batted superbly and won the match for them.”

Ironically, Lymington – who have won their last three games – visit Havant on Saturday.

“It would be some turn up if they won down there, but we must concentrate on beating Burridge, who are fighting for their lives down at the bottom,” Hayward added.

“But if we both win, what a fantastic end to the season it will be.”

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