SOUTH Wilts’ must win their final all-day match against Alton at Bemerton on Saturday (11am) if they are to deny St Cross Symondians the Southern League Premier Division Time pennant title.

Whilst their prospects of winning the championship itself improved on the back of a ‘winning draw’ at Havant, South Wilts go into the last round of red ball matches five points adrift of St Cross in time cricket.

“Basically, we must win and hope Bashley (Rydal) deny St Cross,” explained South Wilts captain James Hibberd.

That could be a tall order as Hampshire trio Jimmy Adams (who hit an unbeaten century against Burridge last weekend), Ian Holland and Joe Weatherley are all expected to turn out for the Winchester club.

South Wilts will, however, be boosted by the return of Jack Mynott and Will Wade (who missed the Havant draw), though James Hayward continues to sit it out with a broken right thumb.

Hibberd’s weakened side may have been disappointed their duel in the Havant sun fizzled out into a tame draw – but the 15 points they collected from the tedium ultimately suited them down to the ground.

Defeats for Burridge and the Hampshire Academy,the sides immediately behind them at the start of play meant they strengthened their hold on top spot in the in the Southern League Premier Division.

They’ll go into the final round of all-day matches against Alton this Saturday with a handy 18-point lead over St Cross Symondians, who have still to play on August 18 at Wilton Road

Havant stand-in captain Andy Gorvin handed South Wilts the initiative when he stuck the visitors into bat in 80 degree heat.

Havant predictably toiled for their spoils and by the time Tom Morton (71) and Tom Cowley (63) had complied a 140-run opening partnership, the hosts were firmly on the back foot.

Left-arm spinner Graham Burns (5-37) not only broke the stand, but prompted a mini-collapse as South Wilts lost four wickets for six runs and dipped to 146-4.

Joe Cranch (24) steadied the ship and after a timely half-century by Solent University student Arthur Godsal (51) South Wilts had 261-8 on the board.

With Hayward and Jack Mynott missing, South Wilts were light on spin options and bowling Havant out was always a tall order.

Stu Ransley and Richard Hindley perished in consecutive balls to Rob Franklin (3-37), but a half-century by Peter Hopson (51) averted any further mishaps.

Gorvin (30) and Jez Bulled (25) gained middle-order footholds before Franklin and Joe Weld (3-36) picked up bowling bonus points for South Wilts. Havant closed 163-7 after 57 overs.

The following day, South Wilts booked their place in the last four of the T20 Cup as they won at Havant by 12 runs.

Godsal (31) and Tom Cowley (29) top scored in their 149-9.

The home side finished on 137-6 as Rob Pittman took two wicket and there was one each for Weld, Matt Burton and Godsal.

Jack Stearman hit an undefeated 75 as South Wilts II ended a recent barren run with a seven-wicket win over Fawley, who had won their previous three Division Three games.

South Wilts chased down 171 to win with 13 overs to spare,17-year old Stearman hitting 11 fours in his match winning knock.

He shared important stands with Owain Phillips (33), Tom Pearce and Rob Pittman (27 not out).

Pearce and Marc Burton had earlier shared six of the Fawley wickets.