Wins all round for the Trees

Posted by Tony Edwards on 23 May 2019

Sparsholt’s first away trip of the season found them at New Milton. After losing the toss the visitors were put into bat first, after a brief spell of rain prior to the start, play got underway on time.

The early signs were that the pitch may have a significant part to play in the game, with bowlers finding significant lateral variation. This proved too much for the Sparsholt top order who were quickly reduced to 39-5. This brought Banks and the in-form O’Brien to the crease with work to do - and work they did. The pair toiled away tirelessly to rebuild, keeping the score ticking over by rotating the strike regularly but most importantly soaking up time and pressure from the game. Banks was unlucky to fall, but the 46-run partnership went a long way to steadying the Sparsholt ship. Although it was clear that it was to be a low scoring game, with the score on 85, more runs were needed to post an imposing total. Doran joined O’Brien at the crease which started a dominant period for Sparsholt with the pair frequently finding the boundary - unfortunately the rain came just as they were hitting their run scoring stride. An extended rain break and unfavourable radar forecast made the chance of getting back out to play look highly unlikely. However, fortunately the rain did indeed relent, and the players were back out soon after to force a result. O’Brien fell shortly after the restart for a crucial 40 runs. The Sparsholt tail then wagged, with all batters supporting Doran to allow the score to continue to work its way to 150 all out. Another worthy mention to Liam Doran who scored an important counterattacking 31. Due to the aforementioned rain break the home side required 130 from 38 overs.

New Milton came out swinging in an attempt to kick start their innings and knock a chunk of the required runs off quickly. Although the boundary was found on occasion, openers Haworth and Perrin generally had the better of the top order, also utilising the lateral assistance on offer. Both openers bowled their 10 overs straight through picking up regular wickets and ending with figures of 2-25 for Haworth and 3-32 for Perrin. Spinners Doran and Frith entered the attack and found similar joy, also picking up regular wickets to little resistance from the New Milton middle order, bar James Haggerty who eventually fell for a top scoring 22 off the bowling of Frith. The spin twins shared the remaining wickets with Doran bowling 7 overs 2-16 and Frith 6.5 overs 3-13 to dismiss the hosts for 89, falling 41 runs short.

This puts the Division 1 new boys in the top half of the table as they look to continue their momentum next week against OT’s & Romsey.

Sparsholt 2nds hosted Bishops Waltham 2nds at Locks Lane on Saturday. Winning the toss and electing to bat Skeoch (75) and Steggall (56) put on 129 in 23 over before Skeoch ran himself out taking a quick single. Double figure scores from Mitchell (12) Worth (10) Cook (16) and a solid 30 from Harrington took the home side to maximum batting points with Will and Ian Berrill putting on a 19-run partnership to take the total to 250 in the allotted 45 overs.

The Bishops Waltham openers had to face the fiery pace of Cook (2 for 12) and Johnston (1 for 36). Harrington was introduced into the attack and took crucial wickets to return figures of 3 for 43 including a great catch by u15 Will Berrill. Stone and Worth with their spin took a wicket a piece and Williams a brace as Bishops Waltham were bowled out for 186 to give Sparsholt maximum points and victory to celebrate.

Sparsholt 3’s hosted Holybourne 2’s at North Walls, Sparsholt lost the toss and were put into bat. Patterson and Maxwell opened up and started watchfully on a North Walls wicket. Trivett and Ley had a good partnership before going off for rain. After the rain break wickets started to fall but a run rate acceleration from Stewart and Tucker in the lower middle order got The Trees to 160

Good work in tandem by the opening bowlers Dorward and Matthews resulted in 4 wickets for the latter until Trivett polished off the tail with a '5 for' that included a hat trick off the last ball of the match: an lbw decision 'keeper Patterson did not go up for - possibly because he was going to have to share a car back with Trivett, meant that Sparsholt won by 92 runs.

This weekend, Sparsholt 1s host OT’s & Romsey at the Norman Edwards Ground, the second team are travelling to Liss, while the 3s host Basingstoke & NH 5 at North Walls. On Sunday, the first team will be back in National Village action against last years finalists Liphook & Ripsley at Liphook. This is being lined up as a bit of a grudge match as Liphook have knocked Sparsholt out of the competition in the previous two seasons.

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