Second placed South Wilts will rise to the ECB Southern Premier Division summit if they topple leaders Bournemouth at Bemerton on Saturday, 11.30.

The gap between the pair has been trimmed to 11 points after South Wilts’ 81-run win at Bashley (Rydal) coincided with St Cross Symondians completing the double over Bournemouth.

The turnaround has given South Wilts – with key all-rounder Jack Mynott expected back after a thumb injury sustained in fielding practice – the chance to boss the league placings, a situation they didn’t expect to be in after losing at Burridge a week earlier.

Salisbury Journal: Tom Morton. Picture by Roy Honeybone

“It’s all got quite exciting and with a full strength South Wilts side available for the first time in a while I’m really looking forward to the Bournemouth game,” smiled skipper Ben Draper.

“Our first match against them was washed out.

“This game is really important and if we can win it, things really will hot up at the top.”

Tom Morton was back to his old ways, dominating from the front with a season’s best 93 as South Wilts posted 244-8 after being put into bat at a damp BCG.

Salisbury Journal: Peter Rowe. Picture by Roy HoneybonePeter Rowe. Picture by Roy Honeybone

The visitors lost Jack Stearman (caught and bowled by Josh Digby) early on, but a second wicket stand of 133 between Morton and in-form Australian Peter Rowe (51) put SW firmly in the driving seat.

Morton hit a six and 11 fours, while Rowe, so agonisingly close to a maiden century on English soil when he was run out for 96 at Burridge, hit 51 in support.

Having bowled Rowe, Mitch Wilson (4-33) triggered a collapse which saw South Wilts lose five wickets for 22 runs and lurch from 142-1 to 164-6.

Salisbury Journal: Tom Morton. Picture by Roy Honeybone

But South Newton farmer’s son Ben Huntley (33) belted three sixes out of the ground and with Steve Warner (15) alongside saw South Wilts total soar to 244-8 and out of sight.

Set by rain delays a revised target of 206 off 38 overs, Bashley waved the white flag and collapsed to 125 all out, with only teenager Jacob Gordon (29) and Sam Stroud (24) making worthwhile contributions.

Matt Burton, Ben Huntley and Stephen Warner took two wickets each for South Wilts.