IT WAS the perfect storm for Andover on Saturday as they were crowned unlikely Southern Premier League Division One champions following a final day victory over Portsmouth.

The London Road club, who started the final weekend of the season in third place, needed a win and a minor miracle to be in with a chance of lifting the Division One trophy.

But Lady Luck shone bright for The Lions on Saturday.

After completing a quick eight wicket win over Portsmouth the rain began to pour, forcing title contenders Hook and Sarisbury to abandon their games midflow.

With Andover returning from the south coast with 21 points, their average raised to 15.94 for the season, moving them above runners-up Hook on 15.93.

A surprised Andover team returned home champions and celebrated ‘long into the night’ according to victorious captain Matt Hooper.

He said:” “It was an amazing climax to what has been a great season for us.

“We knew we had to win and win quick, but I don’t think anyone thought we were actually going to do it.

“I don’t think anyone saw it coming, people were checking and double checking long into Saturday evening.”

Despite results going their way, Andover still needed to produce a blistering performance against a mid-table Portsmouth side on Saturday.

Captain Hooper led by example with a stunning five wicket haul, as Andover bowled out their south coast opponents for just 93 runs.

Andover passed the total for the loss of just two wickets to wrap up the win and the title.

  • To see full coverage of Andover's title win see pages 54-55 of Friday's Andover Advertiser!