SOUTH Wilts are within touching distance of their first ECB Southern Electric Premier League championship for nine years after Steve Riddell’s maiden competitive century set up a massive 158-run win at Lymington, writes MIKE VIMPANY.

Riddell carried his bat for an unbeaten 102 as South Wilts totalled 258-4 before shooting Lymington out for a dismal 100.

The win leaves South Wilts needing ten points to be certain of a first Southern Electric title since 2004 – a target they will expect to reach when bottom-of the-table Bournemouth visit Bemerton on Saturday.

Riddell compiled his first Premier Division hundred after South Wilts had lost Tom Morton (9) and Eddie Abel (6) before their score had even reached 40.

When the in form Jack Mynott (16) became Ed Freeman’s second victim at 62-3, the South Wilts innings was at a potential crossroads.

“But Ridds (Steve Riddell) batted well on a fairly quick, bouncy Sports Ground track and really deserved his first century for us,” praised South Wilts skipper James Hayward.

Hayward (41) himself shared an important 71-run fourth-wicket stand with Riddell, while James Hibberd’s unbeaten 63 effectively took the game away from Lymington, whose batting then fell apart.

Only Damian Shirazi (45) made a fist of it as Lymington lost half their wickets for 40 and were eventually bowled out for 100.

South Wilts clung on to their catches – nine in all, three snared by Rob Wade – Shirazi being eventually ninth out at 83.