Lymington 2nds carried out a smash and grab raid to nick the Hampshire Cricket League championship from Portchester’s grasp when rain washed out the Castlemen’s final match at Purbrook.
The wet weather left Portchester marooned with an average of 20.25 points per game – a statistic Lymington just bettered when they thrashed Ellingham by ten wickets.
Lymington shot Ellingham out for 73 to finish with 12 wins from 15 matches and an average of 20.27.
They effectively won the title by a single point.
Playing his farewell match before emigrating to his native Australia, Damien Edwards was the star of the show for Lymington taking 5-23 before hitting 25 not out.
His spell prompted Ellingham to crash from 40-1 to 48-9 – eight wickets falling for eight runs – and 73 all out before Cameron Grierson’s 40 not out eased Lymington home.
Portchester, meanwhile, were left angry and frustrated – the notoriously wet Purbrook Heath being waterlogged by the previous day’s heavy rain and ruling out any prospect of playing their vital final game.
They have to be content with the runners-up spot – but are ineligible for promotion to the Southern Electric Premier League as their Cams Hill School facilities fall some way short of accreditation requirements.
If Ventnor II won their final game, they would go up with Lymington.
But Ryde beat them by one wicket in the Island derby – handing third place and potential promotion to Gosport Borough, who won by three wickets at Hook & Newnham Basics II.
At the bottom Bournemouth II, United Services and Rowledge II go down – St Cross Symondians III saving their bacon when Trojans hockey star Jack Culmer’s 97 not out secured a six-wicket win over Fareham & Crofton.
A solitary point also decided the County Division 2 title, with OTs & Romsey pipping Burridge to the crown.
OTs beat Old Basing by six wickets, while Burridge rattled up 250-8 before bowling relegated Mudeford out for 90.
Hayling Island, one of the Hampshire League’s founder member clubs in 1974, finished third.
Andover II beat South Wilts III (161) by eight wickets to pip Petersfield to the County 3 North title, while Sway completed an unblemished 12-match run to finish ahead of Bishop’s Waltham, whose only defeat came at the hands of the New Forest villagers.
Other teams to finish with unblemished records were County 4 North winners Parley, Waterlooville II (Regional 1 South), Bentworth and Solent Rangers, newcomers in Regional 4 South East.