Sarisbury Athletic are Southern Electric Premier League, Division 1 champions for the second time in three years – and this time they hope to get promoted !
In 2012 when they won the title, Sarisbury were denied promotion because the boundary on one side of their Allotment Road ground was too short for ECB Premier Division accreditation purposes, writes Mike Vimpany Since then, the club has spent upwards of £50,000 on ground improvements – a large slice of which has been spent on extending the playing area so that top flight cricket can take place on the ground next season.
Optimistic Sarisbury should know next month whether they will be promoted, but skipper Dave Banks, whose unbeaten half-century against Bournemouth secured the championship, is quietly optimistic.
“We still haven’t got the 100 per cent go-ahead, although I think we will now the ground has had the improvements,” he said.
“Winning the league is great news for everyone at the club – a lot of people have put so much effort it.”
Sarisbury Athletic emerged winners from a photo-finish to the Division 1 season – a mere seven points separating the leading three clubs going into the final game.
Beaten into second place by Burridge in the final match of 2013, Sarisbury basically had to win to become champions – something they achieved with a four-wicket win over visiting Bournemouth.
New Milton’s second v third clash with Basingstoke & North Hants ended in the only SPL tie of the season.
The Dorset side stumbled from a promising 107-2 (Brad Schmulian 44) to 179 all out, Dan Goldstraw’s figures of 2-20 including both Bournemouth openers.
Bournemouth’s innings ended in a flurry of run-outs as the last four wickets fell for seven runs.
Archie Norris (63) and Ricky Rawlins (31) gave Sarisbury a 70-run cushion, but two wickets each by teenage duo Robbie Pack (2-18) and Jack Owens (2-21) prompted a mid-innings wobble.
Cometh the hour – and Sarisbury skipper Dave Banks guided his side through a nervy spell during which time he saw three partners come and go.
Banks hit three successive boundaries to bring up his half-century – and take Sarisbury to the championship!
“It was nice to be out there to hit the winning runs. It is fantastic we’e finally done it,” he said.
“It’s not so long ago we were a regional Hampshire League club playing on Sarisbury Green. It’s an amazing achievement.”
Basingstoke were dismissed for 118 (Chris Froud 37 not out), but New Milton scampered a run off the last ball to tie the scores at 118-9.
James Park (29) and Nick Elliott (25) top scored for New Milton.