1st XI thump Totton, seconds stumble.
After two away trips, Alton returned to the JCG looking to extend their good form. Visiting Totton & Eling won the toss and on a warm day decided to ask Alton to bat.
Penn and Hale started positively, but with the pitch offering assistance to the seamers Alton lost their first wicket with the score on 23. Penn was bowled by a good delivery by the former Alton player Darron Augustus for 18.
A stand of 67 between Hale and Phillips steadied the ship before Hale was trapped LBW, again Augustus taking the wicket for a patient 38. As lunch approached Phillips fell short of his half century as he was caught off the bowling of Australian academy player Cameron Valente (2 for 47) for a well made 47. At lunch Alton were 127 for 3.
After the break Alton’s progress was halted once more when Bowden (10) was clean bowled by Augustus (3 for 73) giving the Totton skipper his third victim. Heffernan came to the crease with Alton precariously placed at 139 for 4, and with the ball still nipping about, patience was key.
Myers and Heffernan looked to tick the scoreboard over taking advantage of any loose deliveries. As the innings progressed Myers found his range and began to impose himself on the visitors attack. Heffernan, the support act in a fine 110 run partnership, was caught in the deep for 30.
With Alton looking for quick runs and an early declaration, Myers was in full flow and searching for his hundred. A straight six took him close and the Alton skipper ended a fantastic well-made innings on 101 not out off 126 balls finding the boundary 13 times. Alton declared in the 59th over with the score a healthy 271 for 6.
Alton had a quick 50 minute burst at their opponents before tea in what turned out to be a very interesting session. The Brewers looked to their overseas import to give them a good start and the New Zealander did not disappoint, Bowden making the breakthrough in the first over, trapping Tom Arnold for 0.
Totton seemed intent on playing positively, skipper Augustus struck 4 boundaries in a 12 ball stay before he was bowled by Myers (1 for 27). At 30 for 2 Totton did not change tack and were still intent on playing aggressively. Bowden dismissed the dangerous Valente for 2 a simple catch behind the sumps for Janmohamed, and on the cusp of tea Bowden picked up his 4th wicket removing Marshall for 4 and the visitors were reduced to 53 for 5 at tea.
The crazy pre tea session had put the home side in control, and Alton took to the field looking to keep the momentum. Will Phillips (2 for 31) provided the post tea spark and picked up 2 wickets for the Brewers, Bowden then got his 5th wicket trapping Metcalfe for 31 and the visitors were staring down the barrel at 83 for 8. A fine display of bowling from Bowden who ended with 5 for 33.
Alton did not have it all there own way though as a frustrating partnership developed, but with so many overs left in the game Alton would have been confident a chance would come. Dylan Augustus and Millar remained stoic in defence and when Ballinger failed to grasp a caught and bowled opportunity Alton were beginning to wonder where the wicket was going to come from.
Alton continued to mix up their bowling options and it was young off spinner Tom Paul (1 for 6) who picked up the vital wicket trapping Augustus (23) in front and claiming his first premier league wicket. It was then over to Jack Myers (1 for 11) to take the final wicket as Millar (24) was caught by Ballinger giving the Brewers a maximum point win.
Brewers fall to Fair Oak
Alton 2nd XI fell to defeat at Fair Oak on Saturday, in a low scoring contest.
The Brewers won the toss and elected to bat on a dry looking surface, but were in immediate trouble as they stumbled to 0-2.
Howard Gadsby (24) and Mark Heffernan patiently rebuild the innings with a partnership of 46, but Gadsby was caught behind and Jon Dow run out immediately after to leave Alton in trouble.
Heffernan then fell to one that bounced sharply from the off-spin of Rhys Oxley before left armer Assad Abbas claimed two more.
Andy Pearce managed to hold the innings together with a superbly constructed innings as he shepherded the tail in the latter overs. His 45 was worth far more in the context of the game – batting with the tail on a pitch with inconsistent bounce – but Alton’s 158 was still below par.
Abbas came out swinging in the Fair Oak innings, and got his side off to a flyer.
Alex Hughes made the breakthrough, removing Abbas for 22, and Toby Salmon (2-38) struck at the other end to get Alton back into the game.
Rhys Oxley rode his luck on his way to a crucial 37 – Alton giving him several lives in the field in what would prove to be costly lapses.
When Oxley was removed Alton sniffed a chance, and despite good spells from Robbie Petts-Mellan (1-38), Lee Partner (1-16) and two more strikes from Alex Hughes (3-30) Fair Oak edged their way towards a seven wicket win.