Week 6 match reports
Brewers prove their worth against Lymington
Alton got back to winning ways on Saturday with a win against Lymington which proved patience is key in the first SPL ‘timed’ game of the season.
Batting first, Alton started well with Alex Hammond and new recruit Ed Alexander looking positive.
Hammond (13) fell first, while Jack Myers and Alexander fell in the 20’s as Alton lost wickets just as they looked to gain the ascendancy.
Michael Heffernan and Scott Myers took the home side past the century mark just after lunch, and soon put their foot on the accelerator.
Both worked the ball around well early on before becoming more aggressive later on. Myers brought up his half century but fell soon after, and Alton lost another quickly in what might have turned in to a wobble.
However, Heffernan continued his fine form, and with contributions from Howard Gadsby (12) and Ben Mortimer (18*) they advanced the score past 200.
Heffernan made a fine 73* as the last few overs brought some vital breathing space and the Brewers declared on 240.
They made an early breakthrough with the ball as Toby Salmon struck, but they didn’t follow it up with the required control, as Lymington progressed.
Skipper Scott Myers then claimed Damien Edwards for 27, but Alton were forced into a stern team-talk by the captain after tea, as Lymington had passed the century mark.
The post-tea performance was much improved, as Jack Myers and Julian Ballinger bolwed good spells, while Scott Myers (2-36) trundled in from the other end in a long unbroken spell in which he removed Ryan Scott for 52.
That put the skids under Lymington, and when Ballinger removed Hampshire contracted player Lewis McManus, the tide had turned.
Complemented by pressure from the other end, Ballinger reaped the rewards and decimated the visitors’ middle-order. He tempted successive batsmen with flight and guile to completely turn the game in Alton’s favour.
Toby Salmon (2-30) returned for a good spell, but it was Ballinger who did the bulk of the damage.
It all seemed set for Alton to wrap up an early finish, but an obdurate last wicket stand left Alton nervous as the time ticked down.
Youngster Cameron Robertson supported veteran Neil Trestrail in a last wicket parnership, but with just 5 minutes left of the day’s play, Ballinger claimed the last wicket – Robertson caught at leg slip by Alexander – to seal the win and finish with superb figures of 6-46
*Alton make the long journey to Ventnor on Saturday
2nds bats stay quiet
Alton 2nd XIs struggles with the bat continued on Saturday as they fell to defeat at Gosport.
The home side posted 181 all out, with Steve Ball (3-25) providing both control and wicket-taking threat.
However, Alton’s batting never really got going, despite the top order getting starts – four of the top five made between 10 but none got past 20.
The lower order was then whisked away as the Brewers were dismissed for 118, and left in need of some wins soon.
*The Brewers lost their T20 local derby to rivals Liphook & Ripsley on Sunday. Backed by a good home crowd, Alton could only manage 112 from their 20 overs.
Liphook wasted no time in polishing off the target, with the impressive Suman Ganguly making a fine 62.