Former Totton & Eling all-rounder David Banks inspired Sarisbury to a 41-run win over OTs & Romsey in the top-of-the-table SEPL Division 3 title clash.
Opener Banks hit 40 to give Sarisbury the platform to build 198 and then ripped out five of OTs’ top seven batsmen to finish with 5-43.
The result enabled Sarisbury to leapfrog OTs at the top and take a five-point advantage into the four-match home straight.
With Gus Flack returning to the first team, replacing the holidaying Stuart Shapland, Romsey fielded a strong side for their crucial title clash.
Skipper Jody Brown won the toss and chose to field first on a warm afternoon.
It was a decision to rue as the home side posted an opening stand of 73, with Banks and Archie Norris finding the OTs’ bowlers to their liking.
Neither Dan Mogg or Steve Smith could find the right line, until the partnership was finally broken when Banks was trapped by Smith lbw for 40.
Norris went on to a half century before he pulled a catch to Nick Destefano off Charlie King.
Skipper Peter Hammond skied King to Flack in the deep for 29 as Sarisbury were struggling mid-innings.
Matthew Journeaux and former OTs player Mark Miller went cheaply to Max Smith before Simon Orr rallied until being bowled by Dan Mills for 24. Both Max Smith and Charlie King collected three
wickets as Sarisbury ended up on 198 all out.
Nick Destefano lost his wicket in the first over as the local side started their chase.
Dan Mills and Keith Trodd stayed for 42 runs but it was hard going for the visitors.
James Ingram and Banks were particularly difficult to score against as wickets fell at steady intervals, with the dissmissal of Milss for 32 leading to a collapse.
Three wickets fell for just one run late on and despite a 30-run 10th wicket partnership between Jon Dowling and Steve Smith, Romsey finished 41 runs behind.