Match reports, week 17
Alton went into Saturdays game away to St Cross still searching for the vital victory that would help secure their premier league status. The long wait finally came to an end as they overcame a relaxed but dangerous St Cross side by 3 wickets.
St Cross started positively Foyle and Admas moved the score onto 45 in quick time before the former was bowled by skipper Myers. A key moment then followed, Adams off the back of a hundred last week tried to take the attack to Ballinger but the Alton off spinner got his man. Adams (26) miss timing to mid off where Michael Salmon made no mistake with the catch.
Alton kept chipping away at the St Cross batting line up a fine piece of fielding from Salmon set up the run out of Ayres followed by a quick piece of work from Janmohamed had Young stumped off the bowling of Salmon. St Cross 84 for 4.
Myers then picked up his second wicket – Hawarth made 15 before being caught in the gully by Michael Heffernan. St Cross now 114 for 5 but with Pollard still at the crease Alton knew his was the key wicket. Jack Myers then picked up his man with Janmohamed taking the catch behind and Pollard was removed one short of his half century.
116 for 6 was soon 117 for 8, with the Myers brother sharing a wicket each.
Skipper Taylor joined Harry Foyle and with the game slipping away from the home side the pair batted sensibly to put on 55 and frustrate the visitors. Alton remained patient and young Dan Scott got his reward for some good bowling removing Taylor’s off stump for 26. Ballinger the picked up his second and 43rd of the season to leave the home side all out for 180 as Foyle was left stranded on 36 with 5 overs still to bat.
No doubt Alton would have been happy with that at the start but lower order runs had certainly made the chase more challenging.
St Cross went on the attack in search of early wickets but it was the Alton opening pair who took advantage. Hammond and Heywood got the Brewers off to a blistering start and after just over 8 overs the target was below 100. St Cross then changed the pace bringing on the leg spin of Ayres, and the change got the desired breakthrough when Heywood was caught at slip for a quick fire 32 off only 22 balls to see Alton well placed at 89 for 1.
Alton sent in hard hitting Moritmer to try and relieve any nerves and the gamble paid off, as quick fire 23 from him took the score to 167 for 6. Mark Heffernan remained unbeaten at the other end and Alton looked set for the crucial victory. There was on one final cause for concern as Janmohamed managed to pick the man out in the deep and Alton lost their seventh wicket with 9 still required.
*Alton’s 2nd XI could not pull off a miracle and their relegation from SPL3 was confirmed as they fell at home to St Cross 2nd XI.