St Cross Symondians are top of the ECB Southern Premier League for the first time in their history.
They leapfrogged South Wilts courtesy of a comfortable 43-run win over Havant, who look set to finish in mid-table after lifting the Premier crown for the past two seasons.
It’s Symondians’ 12th season in the top flight since their promotion in 2006.
They clinched the all-day Time pennant last week: now they are in with a great chance of winning the championship outright.
Much will depend, however, on the outcome of their ‘Salisbury Showdown’ with South Wilts on Saturday week – a result which promises to be crucial in the title stakes.
Hampshire’s Jimmy Adams came within 18 runs of notching a third successive century for St Cross at Havant, where the visitors’ total of 286-6 was always likely to be far too many for the fading champions.
That score was largely built around a second wicket stand of 144 between Adams (82) and Harry Came (47) who were, ironically, both trapped leg before within three balls of each other with the score at 165.
Despite their depleted resources, Havant bowled economically between the second and third drinks breaks.
However, they were unable to stem the flow of runs as Billy Mead (35) and Ian Holland (34) added another 77 before Jack Bransgrove (22) and Harry Foyle (18) created some pre-tea mayhem.
To their credit, Havant made a relatively decent fist of their reply, though 51-3 wasn’t the best of launch pads.
They finished with a full compliment of batting bonus points on the back of a century fifth-wicket stand between Harry Gadd (68) and Andy Gorvin (51), closing with 243-7, Adams taking 2-36 bowling left-arm spin.
Adams will be available again when St Cross Symondians host Alton at the Green Jackets on Saturday, 12.30.