Another win at the top and a Saintly debut for the Trees.

Posted by Tony Edwards on 16 July 2018

Sparsholt took another significant step towards winning the SPCL Division 2 title with a hard earned 5-wicket win at rivals Rowledge.

Having lost the toss on a very dry wicket where batting first looked to hold significant advantage Sparsholt found themselves in the field first off. Mike Haworth picked up the early wicket of Jake Wish with a superb tumbling one handed caught and bowled as the opener played hard at a good length ball that just held in the surface. However, Rowledge constructed a threatening partnership of 105 between Chris Yates (81) and Sam Plater (59) that looked to have put them in a position to launch an assault on Sparsholt bowling in the later overs.

Sparsholt rang the bowling changes as they searched for a wicket. Jeremy Frith eventually made the breakthrough with a delivery that skidded and kept low trapping Plater LBW. Rowledge progressed nicely trough to 142 with David Lloyd joining Yates however when Lloyd was caught brilliantly at mid-off by a back-peddling David Banks off Liam Doran the momentum began to seep away from their innings. 

From a position where 220-240 wasn’t out of the question Rowledge were kept in check by a string of wickets by the Sparsholt spinners and eventually closed on 194-9, a total that given the surface seemed to be highly competitive. For Sparsholt Jeremy Frith finished with 4 for 36 and Nick Doubell 3 for 37. 

Sparsholt needed a good start and they got off to an absolute flier with boundaries coming from the bats of Haworth and Frith as Sparsholt raced to 52 inside the first 8 overs. When Jeremy Frith was out for 29 Haworth continued to play watchfully whilst being ruthless on anything loose. Tim Vokes and Liam Doran came in and departed but kept the momentum of the Sparsholt innings as the Winchester club reached 107 for 3 in 19th over.

With the wicket deteriorating and batting becoming increasingly more challenging David Banks and Mike Haworth combined to put another 50 plus partnership that brought Sparsholt ever closer to their target. Despite losing Banks and Nick Doubell, Mike Haworth accompanied by Sam O’Brien took Sparsholt over the line in the 41st over to give Sparsholt, on paper at least a comfortable 5 wicket win. 

The facts of the game were that Sparsholt produced another competitive all-round team performance, supported by some good fielding and disciplined bowling. Haworth’s mature knock of 79 not out was decisive in getting Sparsholt over the line in a game that to those watching was never a done deal until the last runs were scored. 

With Waterlooville winning at Trojans and leapfrogging Rowledge in to second place, Sparsholt now have another big game this Saturday as they travel to the Portsmouth club in search of putting some real daylight between themselves and the chasing pack.

Sparsholt’s 2nd XI welcomed Farley on another scorcher of a day at Locks Lane. Sparsholt, for the first time in a few weeks, lost the toss and were put in the field. Opening pair of Tom Foster (0-38) and Tom Proctor (3-24) started well and by the end of their first spells, Farley were reduced to 49-2 with Proctor claiming both scalps.

First change pair of Josh Williams and Mark Stone (0-39) bowled well but were faced with an attack from the Farley batsmen. D Glanvill scoring 42 and T Glanvill 49 both in supporting roles for J Burton saw the score board rise. Williams (2-60) claimed the wicket of T Glanvill with a fantastic catch from Sparsholt skipper Jamie Skeoch and Proctor bagging that of D Glanvill.

Sparsholt continued to rotate bowlers bringing Greg Whiting (1-78) into the attack, again starting well in his first spell. However, with J Burton very much in at the crease a late onslaught in the last 10 overs saw the score rocket from 176 in the 35th over to a close of 251.

Sparsholt started strongly in response with opening pair of Jamie Skeoch and Josh Williams and were on 78 at the loss of the first wicket. Another strong display from captain Skeoch saw him fall for 50 in the 17th over. Williams soon followed bringing Tom Foster and Chris Mitchell to the crease. Mitchell however soon fell to the bowling of K Mager.

Andy Worth the next man. With the potential damage to the energy producing mitochondria the previous week, questions were still in the air over the Chairman’s fitness as he pulled up after a quick single and had to retire hurt. With two quick losses, opening bowling pair Tom Proctor and Tom Foster dug in and carried on the chase putting on 60 runs for the fourth wicket. Foster caught behind made way for Greg Whiting. Proctor with clever batting continued to take advantage of the shorter boundary and soon arrived at a fantastically made 50.

However, with the scoreboard pressure building and 10 an over required the Sparsholt batsmen had to start taking on the bowling. Proctor soon fell for 51 followed by Whiting for 16. Seb Fernando (19*) Thomas Ley (2) and Rae Lockyer (5*) saw Sparsholt to a crucial batting point. Sparsholt found themselves 37 runs short of the total finishing on 215-7. An extra batting and an extra bowling point were crucially gained and left Sparsholt 2nd in the table after the day’s games. Next week Sparsholt again host at Locks lane vs Ellingham, a game Sparsholt will hope to bounce back with and get back into their recent winning ways.

Sparsholt 3’s travelled to Liphook in seek of a win with a big battle at the bottom of the table in the fight for survival.

Liphook won the toss and elected to bat on a very hard wicket with a tinge of green on top. Emily Dodd and James Dorward opened the bowling. With Dodd’s first over going for 7; Dorward ran in and got took the wicket of Liphook’s captain in his first over being caught at cover.

This early wicket allowed Sparsholt to create early pressure, and in Dorward’s next over he was able to take another wicket leaving Liphook 13-2 after 4 overs. However, Liphook sat in and saw off the opening bowlers with Dodd (0-28) and Dorward (2-14).

The Hampshire Cricket loan system was in effect this week as Cray Sams joined the Sparsholt bowling attack and after his initial over going for just 5, Liphook stood at 48-2 from the first 12 overs. Third team captain, Adam Trivett came on with Sams at the other end to push on, take wickets and create pressure. In which Sams did so by Bowling Grimes for 18. In the next over Trivett removed Barrow for a duck in the first ball of his second over leaving Liphook 77-4.

Liphook managed to get up to 103-4 when Trivett with the first ball off his 5th over took another wicket the batter being caught behind square by Sams after top edging a sweep shot, 3 balls later Trivett had his 3rd wicket of the afternoon and 2nd of the over as he dismissed the opener who had just brought up a well battled fifty LBW. Sparsholt didn’t need to wait long for the next wicket when youngster Will Berrill stumping the new batsman quick as a flash.

This left Trivett on a hat trick in his next over and bowling a Triple wicket Maiden leaving Liphook 103-7. Next ball, Sams came in and bowled A Sharp out LBW to get a team hat trick and Liphook losing 4 wickets in 7 balls for no runs leaving them struggling on 103-8. Trivett returned with a very aggressive field on hat trick ball in which the batter played very well for a dot. However, sticking with the same field, the next ball Trivett fired one in quicker which was chipped up to Dorward whom comfortably took the catch for Trivett’s 5th.

With Liphook now 9 down the next ball of the innings was the last as the batter was given out LBW off Trivett’s next ball finishing with figures of 6-12 off 5 and a half overs and leaving him on a hat trick again for the next game. Trivett was well backed up by Sams at the other end who created lots of pressure at the other end with figures of 2-49. Liphook were all out for 109.

Needing 110 to win, Sparsholt openers Will Berrill and George Ellis opened and moved along nicely, both batsmen hit some brilliant shots to tick the score along with them bringing up a fifty partnership just before drinks. Shortly afterwards, Berrill was removed for 26 leaving Sparsholt 54-1.

Jack Tucker (2), Will Matthews (7) and Jacob Hartley (5) some of the many promising Sparsholt youngsters came out to bat to gain some experience of playing senior cricket and as they came and went, Sparsholt stood at 89-4 needing 21 runs to win.

Ex-Saint’s full back Jason Dodd joined Ellis at the crease; and kept the score moving until 6 was needed to win in; at which point, Dodd (16*) dispatched the ball over the boundary rope for Sparsholt to win comfortably by 6 wickets in which was a much-needed win for the 3’s and something to push on for.

This weekend, Sparsholt’s first team take the trip down to Waterlooville in a battle for the Division 2 top spot, while the second and third teams both play at their home grounds of Locks Lane, and North Walls welcoming Ellingham and Herriard respectively. Then on Sunday, T20 action is back at The Norman Edwards Ground as Sparsholt host Gosport Borough in the second round of the T20 plate.

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