Rain denies 2nd XI

Alton 2nd XI were cruelly denied by the weather in their top of the table clash with Ellingham, which could cost the Brewers a chance of promotion.

With the rain forecast for later in the afternoon, Alton won the toss and asked Ellingham to bat, and immediately put the visitors under pressure. Alex Hughes made the initial breakthrough and Ian Carpenter bowled a tight opening spell.

Both were in the wickets, as Ellingham stumbled to 53 for 4 before the first appearance of the rain. Upon resumption the visitors looked to be more aggressive, but the introduction of Tom Paul and fellow spinner Lee Partner (4-44) put the skids under the Ellingham innings, as they were dismissed for 157.

The earlier rain reduced Alton’s target to 130 from 35 overs, with a minimum of 25 overs required to constitute a result.

Knowing the rain was due, and with the clouds gathering, Alton’s opening pair of Brad Kneebone (30) and Andy Postles (44*) set about the bowling immediately.

They had raced to 82 from just 14 overs before Kneebone’s dismissal coincided with the rain returning to cut off Alton in their prime.

The lack of a result leaves Alton in 3rd place in the league, hoping that Ellingham or Waterlooville stutter and let Alton sneak into one of the top two places.

* Alton’s 1st XI visit to the Isle of Wight to take on Ventnor suffered a similar soggy end. The Brewers did manage to make 53 without loss before the rain came and forced the players to make an early return trip.