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Alton lose opener to Lymington

Rain greeted visiting Lymington as they arrived at the JCG for the opening Saturday in the 2013 Southern Premier League season.

The scheduled 50 over a side contest was shorted due to a delayed start but only 4 overs in total were lost so the match was reduced to 48 overs each.

Lymington Skipper Muhammad Jaffer called correctly and inserted the Brewers on a decent, firm and dry though slightly green tinged wicket.

The visitors’ new acquisition from Bournemouth, seasoned performer Matt Metcalfe took the new ball with Ed Freeman joining him, while the Brewers were starting a new opening partnership of their own, newly signed Will Phillips making his league debut partnering club stalwart Michael Heffernan.

Phillips and Heffernan were quick to take advantage of any early season cobwebs and it took a change of bowling to make the breakthrough – Heffernan chopping onto his stumps from a delivery from Martin Ford that nipped back off the receptive surface. Heffernan gone for 23 and the Brewers were 43 for 1.

Returning overseas all-rounder Dewayne Bowden occupied the number 3 slot but Metcalfe’s change of ends saw the Kiwi beaten through the gate, bowled for 1 with Alton 51-2.

Alton Skipper Scott Myers then took to the front foot, he and Phillips comfortably added 58 runs, but having taken the score to 109 Myers’s dive was adjudged to have been shy of the crease as Edward Ellis’ direct hit saw an end to his promising innings of 34.

Phillips joined his skipper back in the pavilion shortly after as he offered a return catch back to Glyn Treagus, who snapped up the opportunity, an impressive 46 on debut and unfortunate not to reach a well deserved half century.

Lymington’s decision to turn to spin paid off immediately as Darren Cowley accounted for Ryan Hale for 2, Jon Dow for 9 – perhaps unfortunate to be given out LBW and Jack Myers for 3, with Treagus’s off spin accounting, again perhaps unfortunately, for Mark Heffernan for 2 and Julian Ballinger for 0.

Alton’s decent position had slipped away to 138 – 9. Ben Mortimer and Matt Ireson added a very useful 26 runs taking the final total to 164 before Ireson fell in the final over for 18 and Mortimer unbeaten on 12.

The rain of earlier in the day had passed giving way to a beautiful afternoon of sunshine and the Brewers knew that they would have to rise to the occasion if they were going to take the victory.

Mortimer struck immediately luring Cameron Grierson into a false shot, Will Phillips completing the easiest of catches, a great start as Lymington were 1 for 1. The second breakthrough came shortly after as Ireson caught Rob O’Brien off the bowling of Bowden, 23-2.

Treagus was next to fall, as Jaffer turned down a single, both batsman ending up at the same end, Ireson, Mortimer and Heffernan combining to affect the run-out, 31-3.

Cowley joined Lymington Skipper Jaffer he swept and drove his way to a confident 27 before feathering a edge behind to Heffernan off of Ireson. 92-4. The Brewers had opened an end and would have been confident to see opening Bowler Metcalfe occupying such a loft position in the order as he entered the fray at number 6.

Unfortunately opportunities became rare as Lymington took a stranglehold on the game. Metcalfe survived a half chance at a stumping and Jaffer a very vociferous LBW appeal but ultimately the breakthrough never came and the visitors strolled to victory with 7 overs remaining.

The Brewers will be keen to bounce back immediately as they once again host a side from the New Forest area, Bashley Rydal making the long trip to the JCG this coming Saturday. 1pm start.

The Alton First XI are seeking a local sponsor of the weekly “Player of the Match” award, the “award” will be named in the match reports.

Should you or someone you know wish any further information please contact Matt Ireson – the club’s Head of Sponsorship and Fundraising by e-mail matt.ireson@altoncc.co.uk.

This weeks’ player of the match goes to league debutant Will Phillips – whose excellent and assured 46 with bat and athleticism in the field bodes well for the Brewers.

View the scorecard for this match