Calmore Sports captain Tom Pegler refuses to believe that all is lost in the Totton club's bid for ECB Southern Electric Premier League survival, even after a crushing 138-run defeat against the Hampshire Academy at the Rose Bowl.
"We are only 19 points behind Liphook & Ripsley and if we can beat them in the last `time' game on August 2, there's no reason why we can't stay up," he said defiantly.
But Pegler acknowledges that , if Calmore are to avoid the drop, they will have to start producing some much improved batting displays.
Having chased 239-8 in the heat, Calmore were bowled out for 101 on a Nursery ground surface that will have few equals this season.
"Our batting against the Academy wasn't good," conceded Pegler, whose Calmore team has gleaned only 15 batting bonus points in ten matches, nine of which have ended in defeat.
Calmore's only win this season came against the Young Hawks, but there was little likelihood of a repeat of that seven-wicket early May victory.
The Academy simply batted Calmore out of the game, declared in just under 60 overs and gave themselves ample time in which to bowl the basement boys out.
Charlie Freeston struck an early blow by rearranging Jimmy Adams's stumps, but the Academy youngsters gradually began to dominate.
Alex Richardson, the King Edward VI youngster, played some nice shots before playing all around a delivery from left-arm spinner Mark Boston.
But it was the pre-lunch third-wicket stand between Chris Benham (82) and Kevin Latouf (54) which set the Academy up for a match-winning score.
Benham, surviving a confident appeal at 33, went on to hit 14 fours in a fine 82, while Layoff (54), one of eight teenager Hawks, celebrated his maiden Premier half-century.
From 145-3 at lunch, the county pushed on to 239-8 declared - Boston wheeling away and finished with 5-88 off 23 overs : his longest spell in five years !
Directly Martin Bushel misspelled a short ball from Matt Metcalfe into square-leg's waiting hands, the game was up for Calmore, who might have a quiet word or two with the Berkshire youngster about the petulant behaviour which immediately followed.
As skipper Ian Hilsum attacked, Gary Stinson (20) and Stuart Bailey (20) picked gaps in the field.
But the pair both fell to James Manning (2-17) before the Calmore innings went into free fall from 57-2 to 86-9 and an eventual 101 all out.
Hilsum (4-13), whose leg spin action has been tampered with by far too many coaches in recent seasons, cashed in as Calmore slipped to 101 all out in 32.1 overs.
England Domestic Season