Havant win indoor crown
Dominic Carson was Havant's hero as the Southern Electric Premier League champions won the ECB indoor six-a-side championships at Lord's on Sunday.
He was named batsman of the tournament after scoring 64 in the 52-run semi-final victory over Sandyford and then a magnificent 91 not out as Havant staged a stunning fightback to beat Blaydon, the 2007 national indoor champions, in the final.
In both matches, Carson batted on his own at the end of the innings to ensure Havant posted match-winning totals. His 64 in the semi-final put Havant's 158 well beyond the reach of the Staffordshire club who crashed to 106 all out after a three-wicket new-ball blitz by James Ingram (3-13).
But that was just a dress rehearsal for the final when Carson produced arguably the best individual knock ever seen in a national indoor final at Lord's.
In the final, Blaydon reduced Havant to 79 for five, giving Carson the perfect stage to impress as he showed how to control the game by simply pushing threes into the side-netting.
The Durham side gradually saw the initiative wrested from their grasp as Carson seldom wasted a ball pushing threes into the off and leg-side curtain on 22 separate occasions as he completed a quite superb 91 not out.
His innings lifted Havant to 142 for five - a total they were confident of defending, particularly after the manner in which they had bowled earlier against Sandyford.
Defending ECB National Indoor Champions Blaydon, who had beaten Surrey's Worcester Park in the other semi-final, immediately struggled against the pace and swing of Richard Pineo and James Ingram.
By the sixth over, they had only 43 runs on the board, a high proportion of which were extras as Havant bowled with width, leaving them needing 100 off the last six overs.
Stuart Ransley (3-27), who's batting had looked awesome in both games, cashed in as only Allan Worthy, with a protracted 40, kept Blaydon on course for an eventual 104 all out.
Havant players had even more cause to celebrate as they picked up all three individual awards, a feat hitherto unknown in this event.
The evergreen Steve Dean carried off the tournament fielding award, a basket of goodies kindly donated by Cockspur Rum, after clinging on to three catches in a lithe, athletic display.
Ingram, who got zip and movement off the Lord's surface, was chosen as top bowler after impressive performances in both matches, claiming the prize of a Hawkeye bowling session, kindly donated by the MCC indoor school.
Carson walked away with a new bat from Gray-Nicolls in recognition of his superb performances.
Havant therefore have added the ECB National Indoor Championship to their Southern Electric Premier League and Cup double.
The competition was played in superb sporting spirit by all four teams, particularly in the way in which all teams appreciated the efforts of their opponents.
The same spirit was evident in the large and vocal crowd who appreciated the excellent competitive play of all the teams involved.
Havant squad: Richard Pineo (captain), Steve Dean, Dominic Carson (wkt), Finton Hoolihan, Stuart Ransley, James Ingram.
Blaydon squad: Mark Drake (captain), Allan Worthy, Paul Underwood, Geoff Stewart (wkt), Steven Gale, Craig Simpson, Gary Stewart (res).
Final scorecard: Havant 142-5 (Carson 91*, Ransley 21, Underwood 2-33, Gale 2-45); Blaydon 104 (Worthy 40, Ransley 3-27). Havant won by 38 runs.