The focus was on the bottom of the table on the 16th as a late-season proverbial 6-pointer saw the Southampton Spitfires outlast the Chichester Falcons 12-6. This result confirmed the Falcons' relegation only a year after winning the title and will see newer visitors to Oaklands Park next year.
The 23rd saw two table topping teams play with differing outcomes. The Itchen Knicks inched closer to the title with a 23-3 win over the Falcons and the Solent Sluggers beat title chasing Portsmouth Dodgers 17-9 to end their title challenge for this year. The second half of the season from the Sluggers has even drawn them level with the top teams with an outside chance of finishing as runners-up with their final game against the Solent Oddballs yet to play.
With the title all-but mathematically won by the Knicks, the only team who could theoretically catch them, the Oddballs, had to not only win their remaining two games in hand, but had to do so conceding fewer than 3 runs. With this outside possibility gone from their grasps, the Oddballs fell to the Chichester Falcons 17-12 to round off the month.
With one fixture outstanding, the Sluggers and Oddballs play for the runners-up spot on September 6th.
A super Sunday on the 13th saw the Sharks triumph over the Brewers in their morning friendly 20-2. They had to wait quite a while for their afternoon opponents as the Vikings survived a 7th inning rally from the Pirates to eventually win-out in a two and a half hour 34-33 epic. The Sharks then dispatched the Vikings 21-6 to secure the Division Two title and return to the top division for the first time in four years.
The Hurricanes finished their season with two wins, a 31-18 friendly win over the Brewers followed up by a 17-12 win over the Vikings. The Pirates followed suit with two wins to finish their own season with a 27-25 win over the Redbridge Raiders followed by a friendly win over the Brewers 24-13.
Rounding off the month and the fixtures for this year, the Sharks finished strong with a 16-8 win over the Raiders. Remarkably, three teams ended up on 14 points this season in a very competitive Division Two. We all look forward to see what 2024 brings!