Brewers Crowned 2019 Greene King SPCL T20 Champions

Alton Cricket Club triumphed at the Ageas Bowl on Sunday, winning the Greene King Southern Premier Cricket League T20 final against Bashley by 6 runs.

The final under lights at Hampshire’s iconic ground ebbed and flowed, but the Brewers held their nerve to triumph in a tense finale to take the title for the second time in three years.

Having lost the toss Alton started brightly with the bat,

Dan Harris launching the ball into the stands in a rapid fire 21 from 13 balls.

When he and Alex Hammond departed in quick succession with the score at 34-2, Alton were in need of a steadying hand.

Skipper Scott Myers and evergreen Michael Heffernan provided just that as they worked the ball around the large playing area. They also picked off any loose deliveries as they brought up their 50 partnership in even time.

Unscheduled rain as the lights took effect brought the players off twice in the middle of the Alton innings, but Myers and Heffernan kept their concentration on resumption and increased the rate.

Heffernan departed on 32 but Myers continued past his half century as Alton looked to build a dominant total.

However Myers departure for 51 from 46 balls brought a late flurry of wickets and Bashley back into the game, before Toby Salmon hit a couple of lusty blows in his quick-fire 12 to take Alton to an even-par score of 146 from 20 overs.

Bashley possess a strong top order, so a good start was crucial for the Brewers.

Dan Scott made the breakthrough, dismissing Tom Friend for just one, while Jack Myers’ leg spin provided a superbly accurate spell of 4 overs for just 19 runs.

Michael Porter anchored Bashley’s innings as he was joined by Ben Walker – so often Alton’s nemesis during the league season, and the pair kept up with the rate.

Alton were also left to rue missed chances in the field – although none could be considered straightforward with the ball like a bar of soap due to the damp outfield.

Michael Salmon provided the much needed breakthrough as he dismissed Walker for 22, and Tom Jaques followed soon after with a direct hit run out from Hammond at mid-off.

However, Porter was looking in command and found support from Tim Taylor as Bashley moved along at the required run-rate for 8 an over.

Xavier Bocherau’s introduction slowed the rate with his fine spell of controlled off-spin, while Toby Salmon plugged away despite some streaky outside edges.

With 12 needed from the last Michael Salmon over Porter heaved him towards the stands off the first ball. However, brother Toby showed great composure to position himself just inside the rope, catch the ball and throw it back in-field, while Bashley completed just one run.

Porter was then on strike with 10 off 4 balls required but the pressure finally told with Taylor being smartly run out by keeper Mark Heffernan for 22 as Porter hit the ball into his pad and ran.

A two meant it was 8 from 3 required, but Porter was now stranded at the non-striker’s end and perished to a Heffernan direct hit from behind the stumps as he attempted to run a bye off the penultimate ball. He had compiled a fine 77 from 67 balls, but it was to be in vain with an impossible 8 required off the last delivery.

Salmon then kept his nerve to deliver a legal delivery, and jubilant Alton were heading back to Jubilee with the trophy for the second time.

Porter was named man of the match for his stirling effort, but it was Alton’s all round performance which had won the day. A testament to the team effort was that all but one player in the Alton side has come through the youth ranks at the JCG, and the Brewers will hope that the progress continues over the coming years.


1XI v St Cross – 9th June – Match report

One man the difference as Brewers fall to home defeat

Brewers recent good form was ended on Saturday by an inspired performance from young St Cross all-rounder Harry Came. He was instrumental with both bat and ball as the visitors came out on top in another run fest at the JCG.

Things did not start well for the Brewers as in the warm up they lost in form opening bowler Ben Mortimer to a hamstring pull. Luckily the team sheet was not in so he was replaced by Michael Salmon. The visitors then won the toss and elected to bat on what looked like a fantastic surface.

The returning Dann Scott took on new ball responsibilities with Toby Salmon as the pair looked for the early breakthrough. Both started well but it was Salmon in particular who was causing the St Cross skipper plenty of issues. Myers chopped and changed his attack and it was Ballinger who made the breakthrough, Young edging to Myers at slip St Cross 25 for 1. Came joined skipper Foyle, Scott found the edge of Came early on but the Brewers failed to take their chance. Things continued to go against Alton as overseas Marais pulled his thigh in the field restricting his movement considerably.

Foyle survived Salmon’s fantastic opening spell but looking to attack Myers was soon the second man out Michael Salmon making no mistake under the high ball as Foyle was dismissed for 44 with the score on 69. Ballinger soon got his second Stokes sweeping in the air to deep square where Mark Heffernan took the catch St Cross 88 for 3.

Mead joined Came and from this point on the visitors took control. The pair built a match winning partnership of 187 as the Brewers were made to toil. The pair barely gave a chance as they both moved to mile stones Came completed a fantastic century and Mead past 50. When Mead holed out off Myers for 70 St Cross were in a commanding position at 272 for 4. Came moved past 150 before being finally dismissed by Ballinger for 151 off 162 balls. Alton took one more wicket as Hammond completed a great leg side stumping off Myers but St Cross continued to bat on as thy moved past 300, eventually declaring after 63.5 overs on 305 for 6.

With Marais unable to run skipper Myers decided to give him the opportunity to get the Brewers off to a flyer. Marais did not disappoint as he and Michael Heffernan took the attack to the St Cross attack. The pair put on 71 in quick time before Heffernan fell to Bransgrove for 24. Hammond continued in the same vein as he raced to 40. Marais passed 50 as the home side made it to tea on 126 for 1 off just 19 overs.

After tea the tide turned St Cross fought back, Hammond edged behind off Mitchell in the first over after tea. Then Harris became Cames first victim trapping him in front for 13 Alton 155 for 3. When Marais followed soon after also LBW off Came for a fine 73 Alton had slipped to 162 for 4.

The wickets continued to come for Came. Myers made 25 before miscuing to mid-wicket. Alton passed 200 but when Mark Heffernan and Hugo Hammond went in quick succession Came had 5 wickets to his name and Alton were 208 for 7. Some lusty blows from Michael Salmon who made a spirited 37 not out edged Alton nearer the winning draw total but with plenty of overs left Came was not finished he took 2 more wickets to end with figures of 7 for 52 before Ballinger was the last man out off Ayers as Alton slumped to 249 all out.

Alton will look to bounce back as they face Hampshire Academy twice in two days. They travel to the Ageas bowl on Saturday in the league before beginning the defence of their T20 title at home on Sunday – 3pm start.


4XI v Shalford 2XI, Match Report – 9 June 2018

13 x I’Anson Brewers win first time pennant game.
In a week which nearly saw Shalford concede with limited availability, the new facility to loan players was used in a way that was probably never probably envisaged, but which steeps back to the origins of the friendly game. Alton loaned two players to their opposition Shalford (ex-skipper Lewis Jones and debutant Gautum Palmer) solving their own conundrum in the process, how to get a couple more colts in the team that is designed to foster the development of the younger players. Nathan Vincent and Sam Crook joined the ever-present duo of Gemma Porter and Amelia Marshall to make up a quartet of young prospects in the Alton ranks.

Stand-in skipper Critchell chose to bat first for Shalford and the openers Smith and Lidster looked to set themselves for a long knock. Vincent with the honour of opening the bowling from the railway end proceeded to bowl 30 consecutive dot balls to Smith to start the game, which surely must be some sort of record! He was replaced by Crook (jnr) and then Porter (jnr) to make it an all-out spin attack from that end. In the 21 overs they bowled a combined 3-67 (with Porter picking up the wickets).

The senior duo of Porter (snr) and Van der Linde had remarkably similar combined figures from the skate park end with 3-62, keeping Shalford pegged back to 133/6 at the break. Only Lidster (63) and Reed (24) showed any real resistance to the Alton attack. On a wicket that was hard and true it seemed that 133 was not enough and combined with the lack of front line bowling in the Shalford team, that proved to be the case. Alton knocked of the runs in 15.3 overs – an opening stand of 63 between skipper Green and Crook (snr) was broken by Palmer’s first wicket cleaning up Crook who left a ball that cut back and took his off stump. Green (55*) was then joined by Marshall (25*) and the duo quickly finished off the chase. In a game played in a friendly spirit, it was the spirit of cricket that won – the loan system used to great affect; getting the game on and getting the colts playing!


Match Report – 2nd June 2018

Brewers blow away New Milton in a hurry

After last week’s superb performance against a strong South Wilts side, Alton gathered early at Jubilee for the first all day game of the season down in the New Forest against a New Milton side that had been struggling to find any form this year.

Myers won the toss and with the inclement weather that had been around during the week decided to have a bowl. The opening paring of Ben Mortimer and Toby Salmon instantly found their line and length on what was looking like a slow pitch. Mortimer in particular, was proving to be unplayable as the New Milton batsman were starved of any runs. New Milton moved onto 21 without loss after 10 overs, despite giving Alton 2 changes that weren’t taken. Salmon then removed 2 batsmen in 2 balls, both wickets sharply taken in the slip cordon by Myers and Marais. Mortimer then got rewarded for what was proving to be an excellent spell of quick and hostile bowling as opening batsman Tom Arnold gloved a rising delivery to Harris at 1st slip. Harris was in the game once again as an ill-advised 2nd run from Lee Beck saw him run out and New Milton were in trouble at 33-4.

Alton didn’t let up, and Mortimer continued to make in roads removing the next 2 New Milton batsman with quick, short pitched deliveries that were both caught by fielders in close under the helmet. Gonella was thrown the ball and took a wicket with his first ball to reduce New Milton to 53-7. A gutsy partnership before lunch between Steve Watts and George Watts took some time out of the game but due to the tight bowling and slow nature of the pitch the scoring rate never got above 2 runs per over.

Alton knew at lunch that anything over 100 could be a tricky chase with the nature of the pitch and the slow outfield.

Alton continued to keep it tight after lunch before Ballinger got the break through to remove Steve Watts, a fine catch from Mark Heffernan in close. Salmon was brought back into the attack and instantly picked up the wicket of the dangerous George Watts, caught behind by Hugo Hammond. Ballinger then picked up the final wicket to leave Alton needing to chase 83 form a minimum of 74 overs. Overall a superb bowling performance, in particular from Ben Mortimer and Toby Salmon both finishing with 3 wickets each.

New Milton had to attack in the field, and Alton knew if they got off to a quick start it would be difficult for New Milton to contain them. Alex Hammond got off to flyer, striking 7 boundaries in scoring 36 off 24 balls, before getting out with the score on 38. Dan Harris then came in and took over from where Hammond left off scoring 38* from 25 balls, both batsman brutal on anything short. Gonella then finished the game with a cover drive for 4, and Alton had polished off the total in 13.1 overs, before tea.


Brewers make it 4 from 4 on Saturday – Match Reports 26th May

Alton 1st XI v South Wilts 1st XI

Brewers followed up their T20 cup win a week with a impressive victory over South Wilts at the JCG.

On a hot and humid day skipper Myers won the toss and elected to bowl first. South Wilts winners of the SP L in 4 of the last Six years were always going to be a tough challenge and with the prolific Tom Morton back in their ranks Alton knew they needed to start well. Mortimer did not disappoint once again leading the attack with a fine opening spell of bowling. He produced arguably the ball of the day to Morton early on, a full swinging delivery beating the South Wilts opener and taking his off stump. Alton glad to see Morton return to the pavilion with the score on 8 for 1.

Young William Wade joined Owain Phillips as the pair moved the visitors onto 60. Phillips was the aggressor punishing anything in his area before being out foxed by Ballinger for 41. Hugo Hammond completed the stumping and Alton had their second wicket. Skipper Myers then caught and bowled Draper for 15 as South Wilts fell to 84 for 3.

Wade and new man Cranch set about building a platform for the visitors but Alton remained in control of the rate. Both Myers 2 for 32 and Gonella 0 for 37 bowled good spells to reduce South Wilts to mostly ones and twos. Wade past 50 off 96 balls but was out immediately after Myers finding the edge and Hugo Hammond completing the catch South Wilts now 153 for 4.

As the innings moved into the final stages with wickets in hand Cranch and Godsal took the attack to the home side. Brewers missed chances to halt the rate as the pair put on 99 as South Wilts posted 252 for 4. Cranch ending up on 78 not out with Godsal 47 not out off just 34 balls.

Both skippers felt the score was around par. At one stage Alton looked like the would be chasing around 230 but the late onslaught took South Wilts over 250. Alton knew that it was a good surface and if they batted as they can the total was definitely achievable.

Gonella joined Heffernan at the top of the order as the pair made a watchful start. Heffernan fell softly for 23 looping a catch to cover with Alton on 41 for 1. Harris joined Gonella as the pair moved Alton to three figures. Harris looked to be positive and scored fluent 41 before holing out to mid off with the score now 107 for 2.

Morais made 17 before being caught at midwicket but the Brewers were still well placed at 130 for3. Skipper Myers continued his fine form as he and Gonella added 97. Gonella stood firm moving to his 50 in what was a remarkable innings of concentration and skill. Myers fell for a fine 61 caught off the bowling of Evans but Alton were well placed at 227 for 4. Mark Heffernan looked to try and get Alton over the line for a second week but when he fell for 3 again off Evans (2 for 60) Alton were 234 for 5 still 19 runs short.

Gonella then struck his first boundary of a fantastic match winning innings and when Alex Hammond followed this up with a glorious straight six Alton were all but there. Alton completed their victory with 2 overs to spare and by 5 wickets. This was the Brewers biggest run chase in the SPL with their innings held together by a fantastic unbeaten knock by 17 year old Gonella who carried his bat for 65 off 133 balls.

Alton travel to New Milton next week in the first red ball timed cricket format looking to follow up what has been a fantastic week for the club.

Alton 4th XI v Bramley 2nd XI

Alton 4s won their third game of the season on a lovely sunny day at the JCG against Bramley. After winning the toss and electing to field, Alton relied on their quartet of colts to bowl the majority of bowlers. With Toby Pascoe keeping it tight from the skate board end the county duo of Asha Wills and Abi Green did the same from the railway end. Wickets fell regularly and once Pascoe’s spell was completed Alton deployed the third of their lady players Amelia Marshall and she quickly cleaned up the tail. The trio of girls picked up a combined 7-78 off 21 with Bramley scoring a below par 116 all out. Alton started the chase in a controlled manner which was probably a mistake on such a good track and at drinks (20) the match was still in the balance at 39/2. That quickly changed with the introduction of Sebi Bramah. The big hitting student’s quick fire 50 closed out the game in style.


Brewers 2017 T20 Champions!

Marais blast topples holders to seal Brewers famous T20 cup!

In the rearranged 2017 cup final a wonderful all round effort in the field set up Brewers first chance for major silverware. Hammond started things off with the ball as the part time off spinner took 3 for 22 in a impressive opening spell. Havant were stumbling at 16 for 3. Hopson & Gorvin recovered the situation for the holders before a fine piece of keeping by Hugo Hammond saw Gorvin stumped off a wide for 23, Myers picking up the wicket, Havant 75 for 4.

Ballinger then came into the attack taking an equally impressive 3 for 22. He removed Hopson for 39 before taking the wickets of the dangerous Morgan for 13 & Prentice for 11. Havant 123 for 7. Toby Salmon was operating at the other end and bowled a economic spell only going for 18 off his 4 overs. Brother Michael Salmon finished the innings with 1 for 33 as Havant closed on 136 for 8, Oliver Jones left 25 not out. A fantastic first half for the Brewers.

Alton sent out the powerful opening partnership of Alex Hammond & overseas Marco Marais and fireworks ensued. Hammond struck two early boundaries but was out in the second over for 9, Alton 9-1. This did not stop Marais who began to smash the ball to all parts scoring 56 of the next 57 runs striking an impressive 4 sixes and 7 fours going to his 50 off just 18 balls in what was a remarkable display of power & timing. When he was caught for 56 off just 20 balls Alton were 66 for 2.

With plenty of overs left in the game all Alton had to do was tick the board over. Scott Myers joined Hugo Hammond as the pair eased Alton towards three figures, however in typical Alton style a middle order wobble saw Alton lose Hammond for 13 with the score on 92 and when Myers went for 19 Alton were still short of three figures at 98 for 4.

Tension was building as Mark Heffernan joined brother Michael the pair moved Alton to 108 before Michael was caught at extra cover for 7 Alton now 5 down still needing 29 to win. Alton sent in big hitting opening bowler Mortimer who did as asked striking 17 off 13 balls with a massive six and 2 fours to push Alton to within touching distance. Mortimer was then caught with Alton needing 6 to win off 2 overs. Joe Paul joined Heffernan.

In the penultimate over Heffernan picked up a 2 as he was dropped off a full toss, keeper Bulled tracked back but miss judged the skier. Heffernan (14*) then finished the game off In style cracking the next delivery wide of mid off for four sealing a historic victory for Alton. Alton were jubilant and celebrations began.

This capped off what was a fantastic effort from all the players involved since the competition started in June 2017. Jack Myers captained the side before moving clubs meant he could not play in the delayed final. Alton CC’s a true family club as 5 sets of brothers played over the course of the tournament. A proud moment in the clubs long history. Marco Marias picked up the man of the match award as Scott Myers lifted the trophy for the Brewers!

For photos by Howard Gadsby click below;

Southern Premier League final


Match Reports – 19th May 2018

Lymington v Alton – Alton escape with a tie

Alton travelled to the new forest to face Lymington looking to get their season up and running. On what looked like dry surface Scott Myers won the toss and elected to bat first.

Alton started poorly and did not adapt to what was a difficult surface to bat on. The ever consistent Matt Metcalfe took full advantage of Alton’s poor shot selection as he bowled a fantastic spell picking up four wickets in his ten over spell for the cost of just 9 runs. Hugo Hammond was first to go as he was trapped in front for 4, Heffernan followed soon afterwards and Alton were in trouble at 7 for 2. Things got worse for the Brewers as Harris played on for 2 and when Marias was bowled for 11 Metcalfe had four and Alton were reeling at 31 for 4.

Mark Heffernan joined skipper Myers as they looked to rebuild. Once they successfully saw off Metcalfe they began to build what was a vital 64 run partnership. However just as Alton were gaining the initiative a mix up saw Heffernan run out for a patient 26 and Alton were 95 for 5.

With the pitch going up and down Alton knew anything over 150 would keep them in the game. Alton stumbled though as both Paul and Mortimer were dismissed cheaply and Alton were precariously placed at 104 for 7. With the support of the lower order skipper Myers expertly guided Alton to a competitive total. Salmon dug in but when he was bowled by Proctor for 1 Alton were 120 for 8. Myers reached his 50 as he and Ballinger put on a crucial 32 run partnership for the 9th wicket. Myers was now taking a few risks and when one shot too many brought the end to what was a fantastic innings in testing circumstances. Myers made had made 71 off 98 balls lifting Alton past 150. Ballinger and Bochereau added vital runs as Alton finished on 168 all out, Ballinger the last to go as he was bowled for 13.

Despite the pitch Alton knew they would need to start well. Mortimer did not disappoint a sharp catch by Joe Paul at short cover saw the home side 9 for 1. It was soon two, this time Toby Salmon getting his man, Dominic Hand playing on for 5 the home side now wobbling at 13 for 2.

Ryan Scott was looking in fine form as he looked to keep the scoreboard moving. Lymington recovered to 56 before a three wicket blast from off spinner Ballinger saw Lymington slip to 68 for 5. Alton knew the wicket of Scott would be key but Lymington again took the initiative away from the visitors. Scott passed 50 as Alton were left searching for a wicket, the returning Mortimer delivered  picking up Whyte for 15 Lymington had recovered to 112 for 6.

A fantastic direct hit run out from Marais saw the back of Moors without scoring Lymington now 127 for 7. With Scott still at the crease and joined by Metcalfe the game was still in the balance. Scott and Metcalfe then began to take the game away with three wickets in hand and only requiring six to win Scott gave his first real chance. Toby Salmon bowled a low full toss which Scott miscued to Mortimer as his fantastic innings of 95 came to an end.

Lymington edged closer and with three to win seeking to gain an advantage and after being warned Proctor was run out backing up, Lymington now 166 for 9. Heffernan then bowled 2 wides tying the game up but managed to get through the remaining deliveries which saw the home sides number 11 facing skipper Myers with one required. Three deliveries outside off stump was followed by a straight delivery trapping Willis in front, the umpire raised his finger as the Brewers escape with a tie.  

Alton CC 2nd XI vs United Services Portsmouth

You would be forgiven for thinking after the disappointment of last week’s weather ruining the chances of Alton’s first win, some minds would need to be focussed. Alton started on the front foot and never let the pressure up on United Services Portsmouth to very quickly dismiss any such thoughts. 

Ball and Salmon as always starting tight and accurate to make life very difficult to score runs for the openers with only a 5th over wicket the only victim to fall in the first 15. A very pleasing trait of Alton’s game at the moment is patience and this was paramount again with few chances, that it took three special catches to claim the first three wickets.

Tom Green took a diving one handed catch at cover to remove the first opener. Michael Salmon at short cover stuck out a huge hand to take a travelling ball from the very dangerous US Portsmouth captain, and when opening bowler Steve Ball strategically placed at slip took a catch diving millimetres from the ground, Alton sensed their chance had come.

Patrick Sampson kept on the pressure replacing Ball and Ian Carpenter yet again bowling very maturely and economically from the Road End, US Portsmouth reached 89-4 off the first 30 overs. Despite some varied bowling from the skipper, he managed to produce the off spinners dream delivery to bowl the last of the top order through the gate.

Alton now into the lower order just needed to ensure they remained patient and professional. Something delivered emphatically with Carpenter and Salmon, 3-24 off the formers 10 overs, the pick of the figures. Despite a couple of simple dropped catches Alton left the field very pleased with their efforts, restricting US Portsmouth to 150 all out.

Due to a couple of top order batsmen missing this week, there were small changes to the Alton batting line-up. Green fell early but Pearce looked in impressive form with 25 off 19 balls before succumbing to a short ball which he was too early one and the keeper gladly took the catch.

Partner batting at 3 and Salmon batting at 4, the pair knew they had a lot of overs to bat and if they occupied for the bulk, Alton would near closer and closer. Patience yet again was key and the pair batted brilliantly and with composure for a 92 run partnership. Salmon beginning to find his striking power before chopping on for a well deserved 50.

Some intelligent batting from young Hampshire cricketer Jude Wright, using the pace to guide runs through the vacant third man area, Alton comfortably got over the line in the 45th over.

Alton achieving a determined and thoroughly deserved victory to collect 22 out of 24 points to get the first win officially under the belt. Bishops Waltham await next week and Alton will be looking to achieve the same level of determination and commitment to win their second game of the season.

Shalford 2nd XI v Alton 4th XI

Brewers ease to victory against Shalford

In a fixture that has been rain affected for the past few seasons it was great to see the weather set fair for the Brewer’s outing to Shalford via the Parrot. Skipper Martin Green won the toss, and with a renewed confidence in the top order, decided to bat first. Green and his opening partner Gemma Porter once again saw off the openers (in the case of Harding this was literal – as he fell foul of the new ECB laws on full pitch deliveries after only 11 balls). Surviving is one thing but scoring is another and Green (20) played one shot too many, just before drinks trying to press on.  Once again though the platform had been set and this time it was Mark Bramah who capitalised and made a swift 48 with Porter under orders to rotate the strike and doing so highly effectively. The departure of Bramah (snr) was quickly followed by Rob Crook, failing to make an impact for the first time this season, and debutant Ollie Billington who was unluckily caught at Mid Off. With the shackles off at that point Porter then looked to accelerate and in the 36th over converted her great start into a well-earned half-century. That left the closers Jon Wills and Ryan Van der Linde, ably supported by Lewis Jones to see the innings out – Alton posting an impressive 192/6.

With the team knowing that the game was probably done an extended tea was enjoyed by the Alton players before the metronomic duo of Adrian Trim and Jon Porter measured out their runs and began bowling their dots (and more dots!). They finished their spells with a combined fabulous 15-8-19-5, an absolute demonstration of limited overs bowling! The spin of Sam Crook gave the Shalford batters a slight reprise for 1 over, but once he sorted his line out he also showed his promise and what the team can expect in the future, especially impressive as he bowled most of his spell to the dangerous Shalford skipper Torrey. The final 5 wickets fell to the imposing South African, Van der Linde, as he blasted the tail away (4-2-15-5). Torrey was the final wicket to fall after providing the only real resistance to the Alton attack. He eventually fell for 43, an impressive percentage of his team’s score of 56.



Match Reports – 5th May 2018

Errors cost Brewers
Alton looked rusty with the ball as they fall to opening day defeat. With the persistent rain fall throughout April sunshine was the order of the day at the JCG as the Brewers hosted Bashley in the opening game of the newly sponsored 21six SPL.

The Brewers welcomed overseas Marco Marais & young Holybourne off spinner Xavier Bochereau both making their league debuts.

Alton won the toss and elected to bowl first. Things started well for the home side, Mortimer looked dangerous with the new ball. Bashley opener Andrew had no answer as he edged behind for 0. With the ball swinging Alton looked to attack and when Digby was caught at cover by Mark Heffernan for 13 again off Mortimer Bashley were 40 for 2.

Bashley newcomer Taylor stood firm and with Alton failing to take their chances he and skipper Porter built a century partnership to put the visitors in a strong position. Taylor went to 50 before he was bowled by Mark Heffernan but Bashley had moved to 141 for 3.

Skipper Porter then took control alongside Morris (11) & Holly (15) Bashley moved to 215 for 5. Skipper Myers picking up the 2 wickets for the home side. Debutant off spinner Bochereau bowled well without reward as Porter moved to a well made 100. Ballinger returned to the attack and eventually got the visiting skipper for a match winning 113 off just 103 balls putting Bashley into a commanding position.

Ridley (13) & Gidney (15) added some quick rate runs as Bashley ended up 272 for 6. Alton despite a fantastic spell from Mortimer ending with figures of 2-28 off 10 were left to rue dropped chances and bowled a massive 42 extras.

Alton knew with the outfield still soft & relatively slow that a near faultless chase would be required. However with the addition of Marais to the Alton middle order the home side possessed a potentially powerful batting line up and were confident of chasing their target down.

Michael Heffernan joined Alex Hammond at the top of the order as the Brewers looked to get off to a good start. Hammond did just that striking two early boundaries off Nash, but the veteran bowler had the final say as he found Hammond’s edge and Alton has lost their first wicket. Hammond caught behind for 8, Alton 12 for 1.

Debutant Marais joined Heffernan. Marais looked comfortable leaving well but looked to take advantage of anything loose. Unfortunately for the Brewers Marais miss timed a wide delivery from Gidney as he skied a simple chance and was caught for 10 with the home side falling to 30 for 2.

Heffernan was struggling at this point and was digging In keeping the accurate Currie at bay. Harris got himself in and looked to be finding his range before he edged behind off the bowling of Taylor for 23. Alton now 64 for 3. Skipper Myers and Heffernan looked to get a foothold in the game, Heffernan passed 50 as Alton edged closer to parity. A stand of 88 came to an end as Myers was caught at cover for 46 and Alton were 152 for 4.

Michael Heffernan continued to try and keep the home side up with the rate as he took the attack to Bashley but with partners coming and going the task was becoming tougher. Mark Heffernan was bowled for seven & Hugo Hammond was run out unfortunately backing up at the non strikes end for four. Mortimer hit a flurry of boundaries but when he was bowled by the returning Currie for 14 Alton were 211 for 7 still requiring 61 at 10 an over.

Salmon departed without scoring and Alton were effectively left hunting for bonus points. Heffernan moved to 90 but his resilient innings fell short of three figures as he was caught off the bowling of Currie who took 2 for 12 off his 9 overs.

Alton made it to 225 before Ballinger (6) was the last man to fall. Alton falling 47 runs short and left to rue missed opportunities. There were positives to be taken from the game but Alton will need to work on the basics as they travel to Havant next week where they will look to emulate last seasons first win over the 2017 champions.

ALTON 2nd XI v Hythe & Dibden 1st XI
Seconds falter with the bat and fall to opening day defeat
Alton’s second team started their 2018 campaign away to Hythe & Dibden on a hot bank holiday weekend. A rushed start due to some heavy traffic enroute was not the ideal preparation. Second team debuts were handed to two of Alton’s promising young cricketers, Toby Fuller and Ellis Ballinger.

Under new but familiar leadership, skipper Lee Partner lost the first toss of the season and Alton were asked to bat first. Postles departed early and despite some solid stroke play holding up in the slow outfield it was a reasonable start. Green and Paul then fell in quick succession leaving Alton 31-3 after the first 10 overs.

Alton have the services of Michael Salmon back for this year, who took last summer to follow the Rugby Lions tour. The usual power hitting of Salmon coupled with Andy Pearce’s solid stroke play resulted in a promising and solid partnership, including a fine tussle with H&D’s premier spinner and Alton’s big stroke player. Unfortunately the spinner prevailed and Salmon departed for 40 leaving the score 84-4.

Very quickly Hythe & Dibden seized the initiative and 3 further wickets fell for just 3 runs, a disappointing situation given the promising start. However, some dogged and resilient batting from the lower order of Ball, Fuller and especially Carpenter ensured Alton took the innings to the penultimate ball of the allotted 50 overs. Ian Carpenter batting superbly for a very valuable 24. Alton were bowled out for 138.

Heads did not drop at tea and Alton knew if they bowled and fielded well they had a chance still in this game. After a rusty and wayward start in Salmon’s first over he quickly found his stride and took 3 early wickets. Toby Fuller keeping superbly well to prevent leg side wides to just the single run conceded. Carpenter bowled extremely tight and kept the runs at bay resulting in H&D reaching 40-3 after the first ten overs.

Alton sensed an opening and spin bowlers Sampson and Partner were introduced into the attack and despite some good bowling, a hard hitting 48 from the opener with some swinging from the middle order proved just too much for Alton to defend a low total on a small ground.

Not the result Alton were looking for but positives for sure to be taken from the game. Toby Fuller kept with excellent confidence and had a faultless display behind the stumps. Ellis Ballinger picked up his first two second team wickets with his line and length bowling. Both players having real potential for the future.

Alton host Longparish this weekend and will be champing at the bit to get the first win of the season under the belt.

Alton 3rd XI v Oakley 1st XI
Promotion Hopefuls prove too strong for Brewers third string
Oakley batted first against a team combined with youth and experience. Despite captain Gerry Dique (41) not going on to get an expected big score the visitors still posted a total of 227-5 off their 45 overs thanks to all batsmen contributing with Alex Brundle (47*) top scoring. For Alton, opening seamers Steve Scott and youngster Ethan Streek bowled well early on and young spinner Sam Bridger caused problems when he was introduced to the attack. Young wicketkeeper Rowan Sharratt did well with the gloves but an inconsistent performance in the field meant there was definitely room for improvement from the home side. Good ground work and throwing produced 2 run outs, but a few dropped catches left the Brewers third string wondering what might have been.

The home team never got going in reply after losing openers Jon Porter and Neil Heffernan early on then skipper Ian Mason not long after. Freeman came in at four as Alton looked to re-build the chase but when Ali Wright and Martin Ball soon followed their leader back to the pavilion. Freeman (23) survived well against accurate seam bowling but struggled against the slow spin of Rob Wood and was caught at mid-on trying to go big over the top. With the top 6 out and the score well below the hundred mark it was now a case of survival to see what bonus points and total the Brewers could muster. Scott and young Toby Pascoe (top scorer with 36) steadied the innings before late contributions from Sharratt (23), Bridger and Streek left Alton on 140-9 which denied their strong opponents a full points win.

Alton 4th XI v Grayswood III
Fours fall just short
The 4s were unable to follow up their victory last weekend when playing against Greyswood 3s at the delightful Lurgershall ground. After a faltering start Alton scored 132, Dan Trim propping up the innings with some late fireworks. In response Greyswood reached their target for the loss of 8 wickets off the penultimate ball of the game. It was great to see youngster Sam Crook taking three wickets for Alton.


Brewers defy the rain to beat Headley

On a day when most games in Hampshire succumbed to the weather Alton hosted Headley at the JCG, and thanks to the grounds team, managed to get a game in. With no other Alton teams playing the Brewers were watched by a supportive crowd and managed to put on a performance to please.

Alton lost the toss and unsurprisingly were asked to bat first. Things did not start well for the Brewers as early wickets fell. With the ball seaming about, the young Hampshire paring of Porter and Marshall along with Wright senior were back inn the hutch with the hosts struggling at 13 for 3.

Skipper Green and Crook dug in and put on a stand that settled the nerves of the watching contingent. Alton wobbled again when both Green and Ball were removed in quick succession. Chris Joyce was once again the pick of the Headley bowling as he picked up both wickets and finished with fine figures of 2 for 18 off his 8 overs.

Young Hampshire junior Jude Wright joined Crook and with Joyce out the way they looked to take advantage of the waining attack. Wright struck an excellent unbeaten 52. Crook was out late on for a stoic 37 leaving Van Der Linde to come in and smash a quick fire 18 to take the home side to 158 at the interval. A score that in the conditions most thought would be enough.

After Tea Alton piled on the layers and Trim and Ballinger jnr stunted any chance of an unlikely run chase with their consistent line and length. After a defensive opening stand Trim took 3 quick wickets including dangerous Headley skipper Homewood. Trim finished his 8 over spell with excellent figures of 3-5.

With the weather closing in Porter (5-2-13) came into the attack and demonstrated why she is considered such a promising prospect demonstrating skills in ball flight and guile that were too good for the Headley middle order.

Joyce jnr was building his innings and showed both teams how to leave a good ball before being unfortunately run out at the non strikers end, Porter deflected a straight drive onto the stumps.

Van de Linde bowled a solid spell picking up 2 for 12 off 7 overs. Ball came into the attack and removed Joyce’s off stump to wrap a fine victory for the Brewers. A fine all round performance in what was extremely cold conditions for cricket.


Match Reports, 8th July 2017

Alton 1st XI V Havant 1st XI
Havant gain revenge.

Havant came to Jubilee in top form and seeking revenge after Alton snuck a win on the first game of the season.

Alton captain Scott Myers won the toss and did not hesitate to opt to bat. After previous successes batting first Alton looked to replicate this formula but against a strong Havant side they were sadly found wanting.

Alton did not get off to an ideal start loosing the wicket of Gonella second ball. Hammond and Harris looked both in good touch and put on a partnership of 20 until Hammond hit a well struck cut straight at Chris Morgan at gully leaving Alton 20-2. Harris continued his good form this season and managed to build a partnership with skipper Myers. Alton had passed 50 before Myers looking to take the attack to the visitors was given out stumped off of the bowling of local and Hampshire player Brad Taylor for 12.

Harris continued to try and add impetus to the Alton innings striking several boundaries in a well crafted 46. Sadly wickets continued to fall around him and when he was bowled off of the bowling of Taylor Alton were 89 for 9.  Mortimer was then out LBW off the bowling of Morgan for 8 and Alton’s collapse was complete. The Brewers blown away for a measly 95 all out. 3 wickets each for Morgan and Taylor really did put a spin on Alton’s innings. Leaving them with quite some work to do in the second innings.

During the break Alton regrouped and third ball of the second innings South African Sean Jamison had his first scalp, Ben Walker caught behind for 0. Next ball incoming batsmen Stuart Ransley was dropped at second slip by skipper Myers.

Ransley went on to score 44 including ten boundaries before being removed caught at slip off the bowling of Jack Myers. One more wicket fell, that of opener Brad Taylor (29) who was clean bowled by Jack Myers. Chris Stone and veteran Richard Hindley settled the ship and steered Havant home for a 7 wicket victory.

Alton travel to Lymington next Saturday looking for redemption and a much improved performance.

Havant 2nd XI v Alton 2nd XI
Seconds upset Havant

Alton second string made it 2 form 2 in their fight for survival as they returned home from Havant with a vital victory.

The young Brewers side were asked to bowl first and with a strong Havant top order in front of them they knew they would need to bowl. Salmon and Ball started well, Salmon removed the dangerous Hopson for 6 a sharp catch by Dan Scott at short extra cover reduced the home side to 17 for 1. Former Hampshire and England Under 19 Josh McCoy joined skipper Loat and the pair ticked the board along before the Brewers got a bit of luck Patrick Sampson deflecting the a straight drive from McCoy onto the stumps with Loat short of his ground backing up Havant 75 for 2.

The Brewers then looked to build the pressure Gadd who had put Alton to the sword earlier in the season reverse swept Sampson straight to the grateful Joe Paul at point and Havant were 83 for 3. McCoy was still looking dangerous and he past 50 and Havant moved to 138 before the returning Salmon made the breakthrough a fine catch by young Matt Pein saw McCoy depart for 68 and the score was 138 for 4. From this point on Alton seized control and the home side collapsed to 158 all out. Matt Pein and Ian Carpenter cleaning up the Havant lower order wit 2 wickets each.

Alton knew if they batted the overs then victory would be a likely outcome, but batting frailty has been a issue this season. McCoy was bowling a quick opening spell and when he accounted for both Salmon and Green Alton were 18 for 2. Michael Heffernan joined Hammond as the pair looked to rebuild. McCoy picked up his third wicket as Hammond drove back at him for 16. Alton 35 for 3.

Paul joined Heffernan and the pair built a steady partnership, when Paul was removed for 15 the Brewers had moved to 83 for 4. Heffernan remained calm waiting for the bad ball and moved to 50. Dan Scott was then stumped with the score on 104 for 5. Matt Pein and Heffernan managed to repel the returning McCoy and moved the visitors to within 18 of their target. Heffernan was then removed for 66 but Pein (16*) and Carpenter (4*) saw the Brewers home to a 4 wicket win. With other struggling teams winning this was a vital victory for the Alton second string.