HARTLEY Wintney captain Jamie Teale still feels his side have a shot at Southern League Division Two promotion, despite their defeat last weekend at home to Portsmouth.
With three games to go, the village side are now 22 points behind second-placed Sparsholt, who on paper have the harder run in.
Teale said: “Sparsholt have a tough-looking trip to Paultons this week and then face Rowledge, who are going to be champions, so I still think it will come down to the last weekend of the season.”
This will see Sparsholt entertain Langley Manor, while Hartley’s final three fixtures are away at Havant II and home to Calmore Sports, with a trip to Totton and Eling II rounding off their Division Two campaign.
Opening batsman Jack Hersh is back for the trip to Havant II, as Hartley look to complete a double over their south Hampshire rivals.
Earlier in the season, Ari Karvelas struck with a hat-trick as the village side bowled out Havant for 128 on their way to an eight-wicket victory.
Teale said: “Havant’s results are very up and down, so we do not know what to expect.
“We have to make sure we win to keep up the pressure on Sparsholt.”
Last weekend Hartley looked to be on their way to victory as they had visiting Portsmouth reeling at 35-6 thanks to Chris Jolley (2-46) and Tommy Flanders (3-52).
However, number eight and former opening bat Scott Curwood, in his first game this season, scored a century as they recovered to 280-8.
In reply, Hartley were bowled out for 240 with Ari Karvelas (64) their top scorer. He was well supported by Louis Lynch (42), Flanders (33) and Jolley (32).
Teale said: “It was a very frustrating game as we looked set to bowl them out for a really low score, but full credit to their number eight as he scored a really good century.
“We were up with the total but suffered a couple of dodgy decisions, but that is cricket. We then gave away a few wickets and came up short.”