South Wilts seconds are all but mathematically assured of retaining their Southern Premier League status after beating Fareham and Crofton by 48 runs in a ‘must win’ Division 3 basement affair at Bemerton.

The victory, only their fourth of the summer, eased South Wilts 34 points clear of the relegation zone with three matches to play, one of which is at the bottom side Bashley (Rydal) II on Saturday week, writes Mike Vimpany..

Fareham, in contrast, effectively need to win their remaining games to avoid dropping back to the Hampshire League from which they were promoted last season. Although Joe Cranch (20) gave South Wilts a bright start, it was skipper Rob Pittman (30) and Tom Pearce (31) who gave the innings impetus with a partnership of 60.

Sam Pittman’s quick fire 26 included two big sixes off Andrew Martin, while Nick Partridge sent a massive hit over mid-wicket on to the Salisbury hockey pitch.

A total of 203 (Connor Clark 4-40) proved too many for Fareham, who fielded with great enthusiasm, but didn’t have the batting depth to chase the total down. When former Havant batsman/keeper Jez Bulled (37) fell leg before to Pittman (3-28) the game was essentially up, though Dan Reader (23) and Angus Southon (24) did chisel out an extra batting bonus point as Fareham closed 155 all out, Pearce taking 3-36 with his left-arm spin.