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Week 9 match reports

Brewers lose South Wilts double header

Alton fell to their first defeat of the ‘time’ pennant on Saturday to a powerful South Wilts side.

League winners for the past two seasons, the Salisbury outfit look odds-on favourites to repeat the feat again this year for the hat-trick.

The Brewers asked the home side to bat first on a good pitch, with the formula having worked for the last three games, and Alton immediately looked threatening. The breakthrough came on 35, with Eddie Abel nicking behind off Ben Mortimer (1-38).

Alton had several loud appeals turned down and had to wait until the score was on 75 before the dangerous Tom Morton (27) clipped Julian Ballinger to mid-wicket, before the veteran off-spinner struck two balls later to dismiss Wade.

The brakes were now on the South Wilts innings as the Brewers slowed the scoring rate, but Jack Mynott and James Hayward batted patiently, before Hayward was dismissed just before lunch by Jack Myers (1-50).

Alton were happy with their position at the break, but soon after the home side wrestled control.

Overseas recruit Ryan Duffield – who’s appeared in the Big Bash for Brisbane Heat – played himself in alongside Mynott, before unleashing a fearsome assault on Alton’s bowlers.

He struck the ball superbly in a fine 78 – at better than a run a ball – which included five fours and five huge sixes which threatened the local housing.

Mynott was more measured, but completed a fine century alongside Duffield’s onslaught, before freeing his arms himself to finish with a fine 138.

Alton picked up late wickets to claim some valuable points, but were faced with a tall order of chasing South Wilts’ 287.

Things couldn’t have got off to a worse start for the Brewers as the top order collapsed to 20-4. Each one was caught in the cordon as they struggled against the probing opening spell of James Hibberd (1-5) and left-arm quick Duffield (2-9).

The in-form Michael Heffernan and Abeed Janmohamed brought some respectability back to Alton’s innings, but Heffernan was unfortunate to play on for 22, and the game was only heading one way.

Janmohamed spent some valuable time at the crease for a well made 43*, but that was the only real resistance as the Brewers were dismissed for 120 to finish a distant second.

At the halfway point of the summer, Alton can be relatively pleased with their overall performances, but will look for more consistency, starting at home to Sarisbury on Saturday (11.30).

* Alton’s 2nd XI suffered the same fate to South Wilts 2nd XI, being dismissed for just 85 in reply to the visitors 237, and now face a battle against relegation in the second half of the season.