Petersfield’s second team travelled to Hayling Island’s second team knowing a win would guarantee a place in Division Five South East of the Hampshire Cricket League for next season.
Skipper Steve Gibson won the toss and elected to field on a damp, green-looking pitch at Hayling Park.
Hayling’s openers put on 59 before Dan Mills (26) pulled Nathan Barlow (four for 34) to deep square-leg where Chris Russell took a good catch. Tony Bosustow (30) was bowled by club captain Henry Shore (one for 25) in the next over.
Callum Cells (nine) survived a dropped catch by Dave Squires, who had the presence of mind to get the ball to the bowler for a crucial run out to leave Hayling on 153 for four. Rob Cells was bowled two balls later by Gibson (two for 30).
Georgie Russell took a superb catch at deep square-leg to remove Craig Ellis (seven).
Georgie Russell (one for 23) then took her maiden league wicket, removing top scorer Watton (67) who was caught at mid-on by Shore.
Barlow returned to bowl the last over and helped himself to three wickets as Hayling were bowled out for 179.
With five bowling points in the bag Petersfield needed to get 125 to ensure they stayed up – Hayling needed another 11 points to guarantee they stayed up with Petersfield.
Petersfield’s reply did not start well as Squires (two) and Barlow (one) were soon back in the pavilion. The visitors scored 12 off the first ten overs, but at drinks news came through that Petersfield had stayed up as Purbrook third team’s game was called off because of torrential rain.
The lift in the mood of the Petersfield team was palpable.
Gibson then got a leading edge to Watton at short cover off Ellis for 12. Shore (65 not out) put on 49 with Chris Russell (24) for the fourth wicket before Russell missed a straight delivery from Roland Barnard (four for 18). Shore hit two sixes and six fours and looked at ease at the crease.
Wickets fell regularly at the other end as the three under-15s – Millie Green, Georgie Russell and Thomas Klemn – did not trouble the scorers.
Hari Walton (two) and Suraj Sashidharan (four) got Petersfield to 97 for nine before keeper Rob Walton (nine) put on 27 with Shore before he dragged on to Gillam (three for 28) to end the innings on 124.
With the final wicket Hayling had ensured their place in Division Five South East alongside Petersfield.