With the forecast not good Alton had initially thought their trip to the New Forest would ultimately be a pointless one. What developed was their most complete performance of the season.
Winning the toss Alton elected to field, the Brewers hoping the ball would swing in what were humid conditions. Early signs were not as promising but Bowden managed to find his rhythm and the edge of the Bashley opener. A fine catch from Penn making his debut behind the stumps was just the start Alton required. Bashley 11 for 1.
Alton remained patient in pursuit of their second wicket. Bowden gave the home side nothing to release the pressure. The score had moved onto 42 before Bowden extracted the second edge of the morning and Penn’s second catch.
Alton sticking with seam as the ball began to swing looked to S Myers and Phillips. The Bashley captain looked to take the attack to Alton as the scoring rate dipped, however after consecutive boundaries in the previous over he again fell to a catch by Penn. Will Phillips bowling with good control and sideways movement found the edge of the dangerous Bashley skipper.
Jack Myers fresh from his 5 wickets the previous week came into the attack and found his line and length straight away. A rush of blood from James Morris (33) saw him dance down the pitch only to be beaten by the flight of the ball and he was bowled. Bashley now 91 for 4.
Two more quick wickets one a piece for Phillips (2 for 24) who removed the dangerous Australian Jaron Morgan for 10, and Myers picking up his second left the home side 102 for 6.
With Lunch approaching the Brewers again turned to Bowden to see if they could make one more breakthrough and on the final delivery before lunch Bowden trapped Ridley LBW for one and Alton well on top 102 for 7.
Alton were hoping to avoid any late order runs. Bowden didn’t disappoint and another edge gave Penn his 4th victim behind the stumps with a fantastic low catch. Bowden ended with fine figures of 4 for 19 off 13 overs. Jack Myers also ended with 4 dismissals as he took the final 2 Bashley wickets ending with 4 for 12. Bashley were skittled out for 113 and the Brewers very happy with their mornings work.
With no sign of the forecast rain Hale and Penn opened for Alton looking to make a good start and avoid any early nerves. This was not the case however as Penn (1) was bowled early by the experienced Nash (1 for 27). At 3 for 1 William Phillips joined Hale at the crease.
Any nerves in the Alton camp were eased as Hale was a man in a hurry and anything loose was dispatched to the fence. Phillips initially looked to support but he was also soon finding his range. Bashley were on the attack trying to make in roads into the Brewers line up but Hale and Phillips were in no mood to give the home side any glimmer of hope.
Hale made a fine 72* off just 54 balls finding the boundary on 12 occasions. Phillips made 40* off 54 delivaries with 5 fours and a six and the Brewers were over the line inside 20 overs and victory by 9 wickets was Alton’s.
A fine all round performance from the Brewers and one that lifted them off the bottom of the SEPCL table up to 6th. Alton return to the JCG on Saturday where they entertain Totton & Ealing 11:30am start.