Match reports, week 5 2016

1st XI v New Milton

Alton travelled to the New Forest for their first timed game of the season. They face newly promoted New Milton in what turned out to be low scoring but pulsating affair.

Looking to build on their win from last week against New Milton neighbours Bashley, despite disappointing with the bat the Brewers claimed what was the most unlikely of victories.

Scott Myers continued his run of form at the toss and for the 5th consecutive game lost the toss which saw Alton put into bat on what turned out to be a hard wicket to score freely on. Things got worse for the visitors as they lost both skipper Myers and overseas Hutton both without troubling the scorers. Alton in early trouble at 2 for 2.

Hammond and Janmhomed looked to rebuild, patiently accumulating where possible. In an attempt to increase the rate Hammond  took a risk which lead to his demise failing to get enough on a lofted drive he was caught by Mid on moving backwards smartly to claim New Miltons 3rd wicket.

Michael Heffernan joined Janmohamed and again looked to bring some stability to the innings. With plenty of overs left in the day they accumulated slowly but a rush of blood from Heffernan (16) saw him bowled by the economical Nick Gargaro who posted figures of 2 for 31 off 18 overs.  With the score at now at 66 for 4 Alton still had plenty of work to do.

More patience was required from Alton and both Mark Heffernan and Janmohamed made it through to lunch with Alton still 4 down.

With the wicket as it was Alton knew anything around 175 could be competitive but with Alton creeping into a good position running errors cost them dearly. A misjudgement saw Janmohamed run out for a patient but vital 41 off 125 balls. When Heffernan (36) went in the same fashion Alton were left 130 for 6.

Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals with George Watts 3 for 31 coming back into the attack but a vital last wicket stand from Salmon (17*) and Ballinger (7*) saw the pair add 16 and take Alton up to 162. Things could have been a lot worse for the visitors as the home side despite their fantastic ground fielding put down a number of chances which could have restricted the Brewers further.

Alton knew they needed a quick start if they were going  to put the home side under any pressure. With home side looking to get a solid base Dan Scott got the early breakthrough a sharp catch in the gully by Michael Heffernan removed the experienced Nick Park for 1. New Milton progressed to 24 for 1 before a double breakthrough from Mortimer saw the home side wobble at 24 for 3.

Skipper James Park & Nicholas Elliot looked to looked to dig in. With the visitors tails up they managed to steady the ship and edged New Milton ahead. With Alton in much need of a breakthrough they looked to their experienced spinner Ballinger who duly delivered, a fantastic sharp one handed catch at first slip by Scott Myers saw the end of the left handed Elliott for 30. New Milton 81 for 4.

The talented all rounder Haggarty joined skipper Park. Ballinger again found the edge this time of Haggarty only for a sharp chance at first slip go down. The pair looked to make Alton pay for the missed chance. Park played anchor as Haggarty looked to be the aggressor. The pair looked to have taken the game away from Alton, with the score passing 130 skipper Myers with his last throw of the dice turned to Mortimer and brother Myers to try and engineer a breakthrough.

Mortimer duly obliged and a nasty delivery leapt off the surface taking the gloves of the skipper Park, Janmohamed taking a simple catch and Park’s vigil was over with a patient 41 off 121 balls. However, the home side were still firmly in control needing only 27 runs for victory. Further shock waves were sent through the home dressing room as Mortimer removed Edwards second ball and the score was now 135 for 6.

Jack Myers then produced an over of equal drama picking up 2 more wickets, Mark Heffernan juggling a catch to remove Beck and then Myers cleaned bowled Loader for nought and the home side were now rocking at for 142 for 8, still 11 runs from victory.

Watts joined Haggarty and they looked to have steadied the collapse, Haggarty passed 50 and with only 5 required the game was once again theirs to lose. Dan Scott was brought back into the attack, Haggarty played an aggressive but aerial drive looking to relive the pressure only to see skipper Myers dive full length and take a one handed spectacular catch to remove a distraught Haggarty for a fine 53.

The home were now 158 for 9. Ballinger replaced Myers and with no runs coming tension was mounting. With both sets of players looking to keep their nerve, overs were now into the equation and going into the last New Milton required 3 runs to win with 1 wicked in hand. Dan Scott took the ball 3 dots followed, it was now 3 from 3 required with all results possible. On the 4th delivery confusion ensued as the non striker Watts went to take the single only to be turned back. Hutton picked up the ball and calmly threw it to Dan Scott who collected safely took the stumps and gave the Brewers the most unlikely of victories.

New Milton were left distraught searching for their first win while the visitors celebrated.

Alton host Ventnor next Saturday looking to continue their recent good form and on Sunday they host Trojans in the British Gas T20 competition – 3pm at Jubilee.


2nd XI v Purbrook

Ryan Hale’s hundred saw Alton to their 4th victory in as many games. Alton posted 191 for 7 off their 50 overs with main contribution coming from Hale who scored a superb unbeaten century. In response Purbrook were reduced to 88 for 8 but a late flourish from the tail and some complacency form Alton sae the visitors reach 175 before being bowled out. Tom Paul picked up 4 for 33 with both Michael Salmon (2 for 30) and Rich Anthony (2 for 17) picking up 2 wickets a piece. Alton will travel to unbeaten Hook next weekend in a top of the table clash.


3rd XI v Tichborne Park 2nd XI

Despite 92* from Alton’s Alex Freeman Alton’s Third eleven were defeated by 3 wickets against Tichborne Park. Alton posted a competitive total of 206 for 6 but Tichborne reached their target thanks to 76 from William Gerrard and Trevor Booker 53 to see the visitors home with an over to spare. Gareth Billington took 3 for 47 for the home side but it was not enough to stop Alton falling to a second defeat.