Match reports – week 12

1st XI

Alton continued to struggle with their recent batting form as they fell to defeat away to Burridge.

The first half of the day had gone so well for the Brewers as they restricted the home side to 127 all out – but a line up weakened by injuries and unavailability failed to chase the small target.

Stand in skipper Julian Ballinger – in the absence of Scott Myers on work duty – won the toss and asked Burridge to bat first.

That decision soon looked vindicated as Toby Salmon (2-26) and Ben Mortimer (2-31) reduced Burridge to 42-4.

A stand of 42 between Lee Savident and Geoff Dodds got the home side’s innings back on track, but Michal Salmon (2-12) and Julian Ballinger (3-14) wrapped up the innings.

Alton lost debutant Hugo Hammond quickly in reply, before runs started ticking over with brother Alex Hammond looking composed.

However, wickets were falling regularly at the other end as Alton’s lack of form with the bat became evident.

When Hammond (29) was adjudged caught down the leg side, Alton had slipped to 51-5.

That preceded a huge collapse as the innings fell apart – stumbling to 65-9 and seemingly out of the game – as a superb spell of swing bowling by Daniel Stancliffe (6-34) ruined Alton’s day.

A last wicket partnership between Mark Heffernan (20*) and Julian Ballinger (13) maintained slim hopes for a while, but the last wicket fell as Ballinger was caught and bowled by Dodds (4-38) to seal Alton’s fate.

The Brewers travel to Havant on Saturday.

2nd XI

Alton 2nd XI picked up a much needed win in their battle against relegation on Saturday as they beat top of the table Trojans.

Batting first, Alton lost two early wickets, but steadied the ship earlier than in previous weeks as they progressed passed the half century mark.

Ryan Hale was looking good on his return to Alton colours, but when he fell for 29, Richard Anthony continued his good form in the middle order.

He made a composed 40* to help Alton past the century, but when Tom Paul (15) was dismissed, the innings folded suddenly to leave the Brewers defending 151.

Trojans came out all guns blazing, but despite a fast start, Alton stuck to their task.

Steve Ball (4-32) removed four of the top five in a fine spell of seam bowling, and Dan Trim struck with his first ball to leave Trojans 73-5 and the game in the balance.

Alton turned to spin, and on a dry surface they checked the scoring and turned the game in the home side’s favour.

Trojans batsmen were stifled as Tom Paul (3-14) tore through the lower order and Robbie Pitts-Mellan (2-10) took the last wicket with Trojans on 100 to seal the victory – which proves that on their day the Brewers are a match for any side in the division.