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Havant skittle Alton, 2s defeat Trojans

Alton got off to the worst possible start on Saturday as they were skittled for a paltry 58 away to Havant.

Batting first on a damp surface against probing bowling was always going to be a tough task. However, Alton will be disappointed in the way they never got to grips with the game.

They were soon in trouble as the first wicket went down without a run on the board, and the innings never got any better.

No batsmen made it into double figures and only extras contributed any meaningful numbers, as the ball moved around significantly.

Only later in the innings did Alton’s batsmen look slightly more comfortable, but by that time the spells of Ben Walker (3-4) and Jeremy Ord (2-14) had done all the damage.

Alton’s only hope with the ball was to take early wickets, or ruin a few batsmen’s day along the way. Jack Myers and Julian Ballinger took a wicket apiece as attacking fields were set.

However Havant were never in trouble and strolled home by 8 wickets to give Alton a solitary point.

The fixture list has been unkind to Alton as they host last years champions South Wilts at the JCG on Saturday (1pm) and can only look to improve.

*Alton 2nd XI got life in the Southern Premier League underway with a good win against Trojans in SPL3.

The game only got the go ahead after a pitch inspection and fine work from the council groundstaff, but being asked to bat first on the newly laid half of the square at the JCG, Alton were always going to find scoring tough.

Andy Postles struck the ball well, before two wickets fell in successive deliveries.Mark Heffernan settled the innings in a steady partnership with Andy Pearce. Scoring was never easy, but they took the total to 74 before Pearce (12) was caught at slip.

Dave Evans (13) added more valuable runs in the middle order, before Heffernan increased the scoring towards the end of the innings, as his fine 77 got Alton up to a competitive 172.

Alton started slowly with the ball as Trojans progressed to 26 without loss, before Alton broke the stand with a run-out before Alex Hughes (1-20) claimed another LBW.

Their performance with the ball last year won many games, and once they were in their stride, Alton were confident of turning the game around.

Ian Carpenter slowed the scoring rate, as did the introduction of Lee Partner (3-24). Spin pair Tom Paul (3-18) and Patrick Sampson (2-28) then ran through the Trojans line up, with only Nigel La Bas well constructed 42 holding up Alton.

The winning margin of 44 runs gave Alton a well deserved 19 points and a boost of confidence for their season in SPL3.