Alton v New Milton
Saturday saw Alton take on New Milton at Jubilee in the first of the timed game format. History suggests that this format suits the Brewers so the home side were keen to make a good start.
Alton won the toss and after recent disappointment with the bat elected to bat first. Hammond and new signing Abhay Gonella from Surrey Championship side Sunbury opened up for the Brewers. Things did not start well for the home side as they lost Hammond with no score on the board. Young Abhay Gonella showed no sign of nerves as he and Dan Harris looked to build a partnership.
Harris was the aggressor looking to take advantage of the early hard ball. The pair moved the score past thirty before Harris was out LBW for 21, Watts picking up his second victim. Skipper Myers joined Gonella and the pair dug in trying to build a platform for the home side. As the ball got softer scoring became harder on what was a consistent but slow pitch. The pair put on 57 before Gonella was unfortunately run out for a patient 25 off 109 deliveries. Alton lost Michael Heffernan for 9 just before lunch as they went into the break on 103 for 4 but with 43 overs gone.
With a maximum of 21 overs left Scott Myers and Mark Heffernan looked to get the board ticking over as they started the second session. Things went to plan as partnership moved past 50, Myers moved to his own half century, remaining patient throughout with some calculated stroke play moving the Brewers to a competitive total. Heffernan had made 19 when he was caught on the boundary looking to increase the rate further. Nick Gargaro picked up his second as Janmohamed was out for three and the Brewers were 167 for 6.
When Myers then fell for 84 in what was a fantastic captains innings off the bowling of Haggarty Alton were wobbling at 168 for 7. Alton looking for the extra bonus point before 60 overs lost their eighth wicket Jack Myers with the board on 172. A late cameo from overseas Jamison helped the home side to 200 off their 64 overs. He struck one four and two sixes in his 22 which would turn out to be a vital contribution.
Alton knew 200 was a competitive total if they bowled well on what was a difficult pitch to score freely on. The visitors made a steady start before Jamison made the breakthrough he found the edge of New Milton’s overseas Wakefield, Scott Myers making no mistake at second slip. New Milton 27 for 1. Ollie Shrubsole then misjudged a Scott Myers fall toss and was out LBW for 5 with the score on 36 for 2, honours even. Just before tea Jamison found the edge of Haggarty but Myers failed to hold on to a tough chance as the visitors made it to tea without further loss.
The final session of the day was to be a tense affair with all outcomes possible. The spin duo of Jack Myers and Julian Ballinger were entrusted to make the breakthrough. The former got his man a fantastic take from Janmohamed behind the stumps saw Haggarty stumped for 17 and New Milton were 68 for 3. A double Ballinger breakthrough saw the visitors reduced further to 89 for 5. Opener Tom Arnold stood firm as he made a patient 50. New Milton moved past 100 before Jamison returned clean bowling Dan Loader for 3, New Milton 105 for 6.
With Arnold still at the crease New Milton were still in the game. The score moved to 127 before Watts was removed for 9, Jamison again with his third wicket. With Alton seemingly beginning to edge this enthralling encounter young Ralf Hussey produced a cameo that would once see the game tip back into the balance. He scored 23 from 23 balls before one shot too many saw Jamison pick up his fourth Janmohamed completing the catch behind, the visitors now on 158 for 8. Jamison with 4 for 42.
New Milton were edging closer to the winning draw target but also the outright win, Arnold had played a sensible gritty innings and was being well supported by his lower order. Alton were frustrated further as off the bowling of Ballinger Campbell Golding was put down by Hammond, was this the Brewers last chance. With 4 overs left of the day the Brewers needed 2 wickets for victory with New Milton needing 21 for the win. Captain Myers brought himself back and when Golding was caught by the relieved Hammond the score was 180 for 9. Four leg byes moved the a score onto 184 but when Gargaro was trapped in front off the fourth ball of the over New Miltons resistance was finally broken. Visiting keeper Arnold had spent every ball of the match in the middle as he remained unbeaten on a determined 80 off 155 balls.
Alton were jubilant as they won by 16 runs in what was a absorbing encounter.
Alton will look to take confidence from this result as they travel to Winchester next week to dace St Cross.
Alton ladies make it three from three
Alton Ladies made it three wins out of three on Sunday with a 60 run win over Parley Sports.
Gemma Porter capped a fine all-round performance, by claiming a remarkable four wickets in four balls, before a final run-out ended the game from the next delivery.
The margin suggests an comfortable win, but the reality was different as Parley looked good while chasing Alton’s 205.
The visitors made Alton work hard as they made it to 145-5 with 12 overs remaining, but fell in a heap against Porter’s accurate off-spin.
It completed a fine day for the Hampshire under 15 star, as she earlier carried her bat for 86*, in Alton’s total.
She was helped by Georgia Harsham (31) and Amelia Marshall who made a rapid 54 as Alton continued their winning start to the season.
Waterlooville First XI v Alton Second XI
Alton’s second string fell to a heavy defeat at the hands of Waterlooville on Saturday as the lost by 121 runs. Waterlooville scored 232 with James Hortie and Tim Jackson completing half centuries for the home side. Toby Salmon took 4 for 47 with Lee Partner picking up 5 for 23 for the Brewers. Alton’s reply never really got going Thomas Green (24) and Shane Moody (20) were the only pair to make any kind of contribution as Alton were shot out for 111.