ANDOVER’S cricket team’s great escape from relegation from the Southern League Premier Division is very much on, after they made it two wins on the trot with victory over fellow strugglers Alton.

The Lions are now within touching distance of both Alton and New Milton with two games left and one of them will go down.

Andover are 11 points behind New Milton and 24 points further back from Alton, as the season enters a tense finale.

This weekend, Andover are away at fourth placed Bashley looking for a hat-trick of victories, while New Milton entertain St Cross who are fifth.

Meanwhile Alton have the easiest looking game of the three, being at home to the Hampshire Academy who are directly above them in the table.

The final weekend of the season will see a real relegation crunch game when Andover are at home to New Milton, while Alton will be away at Burridge.

Andover's great end of season revival continued as they made it two wins on the trot with an eight wicket home win over fellow Southern League Premier Division strugglers Alton.

Home skipper, Matt Hooper, won the toss and elected to bowl first after overnight rain.

The Andover opening bowlers, Babu Veettil and Mike Adams started well in difficult conditions underfoot and it was Adams that made the first breakthrough with a brilliant diving catch at mid-wicket by Josh Ballantine-Dykes.

Alton then rebuilt their innings and looked to be setting themselves up for a big score. Young star Ajeet Dale and paceman Chamika Karunaratne bowled well, but neither could get the breakthrough. Hooper then introduced himself and he immediately got the breakthrough trapping Abeed Janmohamed (32) leg before.

Karunaratne then had Daniel Harris (35) caught by Harry Blackburn. Former Hampshire player Glyn Treagus was then brought on and he took out the Alton skipper Scott Myers, Michael Heffernan and overseas professional Sean Jamison in his best bowling performance of the season taking 3-15 from 10 overs.

At the other end Hooper had Joe Paul brilliantly caught behind by Matt Knight and Alton were 111-6.

However, Mark Heffernan (40) dug in and he received support for his lower order.

Hooper re-introduced Dale and Karunaratne and it was Dale (3-51) as he mopped up the tail as Alton were all for 169.

Andover openers, Will Arnold (49) and Ballantine-Dykes (21), started positively against some good new ball bowling from Jamison and Toby Salmon.

With the score on 39 Ballantine-Dykes got a faint edge on a good delivery from Salmon and then next ball Treagus was bowled.

Sri-Lankan Karunaratne (11) quickly set about taking the momentum back, but then chipped a ball to Julian Ballinger, who despite juggling it, managed to keep hold it.

With the score at 67-3 the game was in the balance. Arnold and Will Carr (17) took the score to 107, but in the space of six runs they lost four wickets to leave them 113-7.

Hooper (31 not out) and Dale (14) then added 39 for the eighth wicket, before Dale was the last man out, but had played a key role.

Mike Adams then joined Hooper and the pair won the game with Adams hitting the winning runs.