Purbrook avoid relegation after Boro’ cricket win

By Connor Steel / 2019 photograph by Ian Hargreaves 

BANK Holiday weekend saw the conclusion of the Southern Premier Cricket League Division Three with games at Privett Park across Saturday and Sunday in various season-enders.

But despite this Gosport Borough CCC’s First Team made the biggest headlines as they travelled to Purbrook, hoping to relegate the home side and secure third place with a final day victory.

However Boro’ were forced to settle for a mid-table fifth in the standings after being bowled out for just 99 runs, before failing to remove the Purbrook lower order as the hosts recorded a five-wicket victory, thus securing safety on a points-per-game (PPG) average over Hythe & Dibden CCC.

On a sunny afternoon Gosport won the toss and elected to bat on a flat surface; this decision proving costly as they were reduced to 9-3 off the opening spell of bowling. Lee Harrop and Charlie Pennicott were both bowled out by Tom Amis, while Charlie Creal was caught at mid-off from a Josh McCoy delivery as Purbrook made a lighting start with something to play for.

Although the attack was then blunted by a solid 34-run partnership between Jacob Harris and Ollie Creal as Boro’ launched a mini-comeback, but they were pegged back yet again by three wickets in a matter of overs. Martin Lee took the wicket of Harris, while James Gurney dismissed Creal and James Ewart for a golden duck to leave Boro’ on 45-6.

Another slow but steady partnership between Greg Kitchen and Mark Toogood took the visitors towards the 100 mark, which could have been a good score given their disastrous start to this encounter. However when Kitchen was out for 10 off the bowling of Martin Lee to leave the score on 83-7. It sparked another collapse of wickets in a five over spell as Borough couldn’t bat out their allotted 40 overs in the innings.

Toogood was dismissed for 30 runs, the highest score of the Boro’ batting line-up, while Scott Taylor and Alex Campbell were sent back to the pavilion by Brad Mengham to bowl Boro’ out for 99. This could have been much worse as this low score included 20 extras including 10 wides across the 35.2 over innings.

Needing exactly 100 to win, Purbrook got off to a shaky start as they lost Martin Lee LBW off the bowling of Scott Taylor for a slow six out of 42 balls. Shortly after the home side’s top order totally collapsed as Ollie Creal took four quick wickets. The bowler dismissed all of John Muller, Josh McCoy, Sean Figgins and Clark Harding to leave the batting side on 20-5 with relegation looming for the Hampshire League.

However Purbrook were rescued by an unbeaten sixth-wicket partnership of 83 runs between Brad Mengham and James Barber. It was the former who dominated this match-winning combination, scoring 64 off 73 balls including 10 boundaries. He was accompanied by Barber, who hit 16 off 52 including 48 dot balls, blocking an end as Purbrook romped h0me by hitting a boundary with 39 deliveries to bowl.

Purbrook took 21pts from this victory to finish eighth in the table with a PPG ratio of 9.25 from 18 matches, avoiding relegation by this method over their Southampton-based rivals. Gosport however will rue two straight defeats in the run-in as they finished fifth with a total of 171 pts, which works out at 14.25 per match this campaign.

This includes seven victories and five defeats, alongside six cancellations due to rain earlier this summer. Borough have ended their season with a total of 87 extra points (43 batting / 44 bowling), which will be classed as a success given they only got their promotion to this level in 2020. This is despite the lack of finances due to Covid-19 and the lockdowns that saw indoor training banned when the season began back in mid-April.

Match scorecard can be found here.