St Cross Symondians lost seven wickets for 27 runs before crashing to a 119-run defeat by Havant, who leapfrogged to the ECB Southern Electric Premier League summit in the process.
The result, which coincided with Lymington’s victory at South Wilts, gave Havant a nine-point lead at the top with two games to play.
Havant, seeking to halt a hat-trick of South Wilts titles, were far too powerful for Jordan Finney’s young, inexperienced side.
They seized the initiative during an 80-run second-wicket stand between Ben Walker (54), pictured, and Pete Hopson (45), who provided the platform for a 206-7 total.
Walker looked in particularly good nick, playing a series of fine extra-cover drives some of which were denied full value by the lush Green Jackets Ground outfield.
Walker fell at 107-2 – bowled by Felix Organ – and when fellow spin teen Charlie Ayres (2-26) removed Hopson and Harry Hovey in quick succession, Havant wobbled at tad at 133-4.
Jordan Finney (3-37) chipped away with his off-spin, but Chris Stone (46), aided by Chris Morgan (18) and Richard Hindley, guided his side to 206-7 – a decent total on a ground where chasing runs is seldom straight-forward.
But the only thing St Cross chased was themselves in and out of the home dressing room door as Rohan Kandiah (3-19) and Ben Walker (3-13) ripped their top order to shreds.
St Cross were three wickets down with only seven runs on the board and after the new ball pair had finished their respective spells, the Winchester side had their eighth-wicket pair at the crease.
Tom Foyle (28), brother Harry (17) and Charlie Ayres (21) did at least bring a modest air of respectability to the proceedings before left-arm spinner Steve Matthews (2-1) wrapped up the innings with St Cross 87 all out.