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U15’s retain unbeaten league run with great performance against Eversley

The U15’s put in a fantastic performance Sunday morning grasping victory from the jaws of defeat with some superb bowling at the death by Giles Hartley and Dhevena Patel. With the half term causing a number of key absences, the team was complimented with five players from the ever growing girls squad; Dhevena was joined by Asha Wills and Alton’s U13 County trio of Amelia Marshall, Abigail Green and Gemma Porter.

Skipper Tom Green lost the toss and his supposed “weakened” team was asked to bat first at the Fox Lane ground alongside the Indoor School. There were a few nervous glances around the Alton changing room when the plan to bat boy/girl pairs through the innings was shared. When Tom and Amelia both retired with the score on 86/0, it was the Eversley boys who were nervously looking around the field to see what was about to hit them next! Green once again just ran out of overs to hit a half century, retiring on 48* after his eight overs; he was supported excellently by Marshall 17* who played some brilliant late cuts against the Eversley openers. Max Mayes and Gemma Porter followed this up with a steady stint of run building, Porter eventually also retiring on 12*. Mayes was bowled out for 7 in what turned out to be Eversley’s only success looking to hurry up the rate. The home team’s bowing improved as the run rate started to stall and Alton were ultimately restricted to 131/1 in the allotted 20 overs.

The Eversley top three came out aggressively and despite some great bowling from Patel, Wills, Mayes, Pascoe, Marshall, Ventham and Abi Green for 16 overs the home team looked well in control always staying comfortably ahead of the required rate. A fantastic catch from Kian Ventham was the highlight of the early overs. Despite some spirited fielding the Eversley middle order kept the run rate going, and with it the ascendency for the home team. Needing only 15 runs from the last four overs with 5 wickets in hand the game seemed up for Alton. Patel then produced a 2-run 17th over and in the penultimate over a great caught and bowled. This produced the pressure that was exploited by Hartley at the other end with three wickets and two run outs (one he took himself and the second by the older Green). The bowlers were supported by some great fielding and innovative fielding placements. In the end Eversley were restricted to 123, incredibly bowled out 8 runs short of the target off the last ball of the game. A superb all-round performance by the Alton Mixed XI; and hopefully a huge chunk of valuable experience for the Alton girls.