Frith's tonne seals the win

Posted by Tony Edwards on 26 June 2017

It was an overcast afternoon at Locks Lane with the victors winning the toss and electing to field first. Sparsholt got off to a relatively fast start, however very few of the 20 added in the opening partnership were off of the bat with extras accounting for a high proportion of the initial runs. However, Marc Burton made the breakthrough of Archie Norris and also took the wicket of Jake Dunford soon after, which was part of a fantastic spell of bowling of 2-13 from his 10 overs. Just as Sparsholt looked to be building momentum, they continued to lose wickets at inopportune moments in the innings. However, during this time Jeremy Frith stood resolute to the pressure of falling wickets but capitalise when he was joined by David Banks as they put on a stand of 110 which saw the boundary count rocket and truly hand the momentum in the home sides favour as a score of more than 250 came into sight. Frith’s masterclass of batsmenship saw him reach his first hundred of the season, adding to his already impressive runs tally, supported by positive contributions from Banks and the lower order, Sparsholt posted 268.

As the home side took the field they looked to carry with the momentum from their innings into the field, however this was met with stern resistance from the South Wilts opening pair who came out very positively and reaped the rewards before David Banks broke the opening partnership of 45. The visiting side continued to look to keep up with the required rate with the boundary count rising, however also lost wickets just as it looked the they were putting together a strong platform. Great control from the spinners meant that the asking rate was rising with them bowling well to plans resulting in dot balls. Frith added to his already good day by capitalising on the growing pressure with 4 wickets in his spell of 9.1 overs. Other wickets were shared between Banks, Doubell and Weir as South Wilts were dismissed for 211.

Sparsholt will take this high point win to go the third in the table whilst South Wilts still remain bottom, searching for that string of wins they need to get back up the table. Sparsholt will look to be more ruthless during the key moments of the games to continue to secure victories over strong opposition and aim to be disciplined in their basic skills, whereas South Wilts will look to convert their top order runs in to game winning innings with 7 of their batsmen getting starts of between 20 and 35 without converting these into fifties and hundreds.

Sparsholt 2nds travelled to Alton 3rds on Saturday with Andy Worth once again deputising for Adam Gough as skipper. Alton won the toss and elected to bat. Sparsholt had a genuine pace Attack with the return of Alex Dilley and Will Putt both over 6ft 4 steaming in with the new ball. Following some initial wayward deliveries from both bowlers both found their rhythm but were unable to break the opening partnership of 97 between Heffernan and Alton skipper Mason despite a number of close appeals. Dilley bowled a quick spell of 10 overs for 16 runs and Putt 7 overs for 36. The spin of Patterson (10 overs 2 for 37) and swing of Pryce (8 overs 1 for 41) took the pace off the ball with Pryce trapping Heffernan for 42 and Patterson clean bowling Mason for 59. Patterson also had Pearce caught by Mike Doubell. A minor discombobulation by the umpire found Patterson 2 balls into his 11th over and was swiftly replaced by Mike Doubell to start his spell with a sensational caught and bowled to remove Bramah. Doubell turned the screw returning figures of 5 overs 3 maidens 4 for 7 along with 13-year-old Joshua Williams (1 for 25) took out the middle order. Alton finished on 184 for 9.

Sparsholt opened up with Martin and Steggall and played some solid shots before Martin fell for 21. Skeoch (10) joined Stegall and took the score to 66 before Stegall was caught for 26 and Skeoch quickly followed bowled by the spin of Pearce. Herridge hit some lusty blows in a quick 15 as Worth hit several off drives picking out the fielders on every occasion. Herridge fell for 15 followed by Williams for 2 and Putt for 8 leaving Sparsholt on 113 for 6. Pryce joined Worth who had by now managed to find the boundary and they put on 43 before Pryce was caught off the bowling of Scott for 23. Sparsholt still needed 25 with 3 wickets remaining. Dilley was trapped LBW for 3 by Ballanger and Doubell bowled by Scott for 2 brining Patterson to the crease with 2 overs left and 11 needed. Patterson scampered a quick single, then a wide, then Worth despatched the next ball through square leg for 4. With 5 needed to win and one wicket left Worth drove the next ball hard to mid-on where Bramah managed to hold on to a catch to win the game as despondent Worth was out for 55 giving Alton victory in a very close game.

After a week off for the 3's they were back in action against Hook 4's to try and get back to winning ways. Sparsholt won the toss and choose to bowl on a very green wicket.

Sparsholt’s Elliott Colyer and Emily Dodd opened the bowling and kept it tight and stopped Hook scoring but struggled to take an early wicket. Hook’s opening pair started well with the bat, and lost just the one wicket, a catch by Tony Edwards (the first of two) off the bowling of debutant Will Bailey. At 21 overs Hook with score at 101-1 After drinks Trivett came on to bowl with David Bannister bowling from the other end meant there was spin from both ends of the wicket. Trivett broke the partnership with his second ball, and from there wickets fell steadily with Bannister picking up a 5-fer with figures of 10-0-48-5. Hook ended 175 all out with 2 balls left of their innings with Dodd picking up the last couple of wickets with some tight bowling at the death.

Sparsholt come out with Druce and Trivett opening the batting. However, wickets fell early and when Trivett walked back for 20; Sparsholt were 51-5. The game wasn't over there though some great batting from Elliott Colyer and Rob Matthews brought Sparsholt back into the game. With the score 101-5 the wicket of Matthews fell; with the wickets of Colyer and Edwards fell straight after, which meant a regroup with Bailey and Stuart Barlow was needed to keep the run rate ticking along. Some great shots from Bailey including a massive six brought him to 28 until he was caught at square leg with a wonder catch which brought Bannister to the crease with Barlow needing 30 to win with the last wicket. However, it was not to be as Sparsholt fell 14 runs short with a score of 161-9 at the end of their 42 overs.

So, another defeat for Sparsholt’s third team, but 10 bonus points from the game meant it wasn't all bad.

This weekend Sparsholt’s first and third teams both travel to Paultons & Hartley Wintney respectively, while the second team host IBM Hursley at the Norman Edwards Ground.

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