Winning run comes to an end for the Trees

Posted by Tony Edwards on 20 June 2017

Week 7 saw Sparsholt take on local rivals St Cross Symondians at the Royal Green-jackets ground. Without a cloud in the sky and with the sun beating down, St Cross won the toss and elected to bat first. The St Cross openers capitalised on some reasonably loose bowling and with the pitch offering very little for the bowlers, it looked like a big total was on the cards. It could have been a different story with Paul Hawkins being dropped in the slips very early in his innings, a mistake which would prove to be costly. The opening stand of 82 was broken when Jason Laney was caught off his leading edge from the bowling of Nick Doubell. St Cross continued steadily in the middle overs, working the ball well off of the spinners, before Paul Hawkins was caught behind off the bowling of Mike Haworth. The innings entered into a crucial stage with Jack Middleton and Matt Haworth at the crease as St Cross were poised to score well in excess of 250 if Sparsholt did not start to make inroads into the oppositions lineup. Jack Middleton was dismissed by Jeremy Frith which sparked a collapse which saw the batting side reduced from 158-3 to 209 all out, losing their last 7 wickets for just 51 runs. Wickets were spread between the 7 bowlers who were used with Haworth, Banks and Weir all picking up 2, and Doubell and Frith taking 1 each.

Sparsholt got off to a shaky start with Archie Norris and Chris Mitchell being dismissed off of consecutive balls from the bowling of Harry Foyle. Jeremy Frith and Mike Haworth steadied the ship after being 25-2 and proceeded to put together a partnership of 105 runs. Under the intense heat the pitch had disintegrated and was taking spin very well, with the ball spinning sharply out of the rough. Frith was Steve Mitchell’s first victim of what would prove to be a game changing spell of bowling for a well fought 40 but Sparsholt still felt in a strong position, with many overs remaining. However, with Haworth edging the ball behind for a defiant 70 soon after, this would prove the be the first signs of a collapse which would prove terminal for the Sparsholt run chase. Steve Mitchell's spell of 7 overs 4-32 was enough for Sparsholt to be reduced to 167 all out. Other wicket takers includes Harry Foyle who bagged 3 wickets, David Orchard took 2 and Matt Perry-Lewis who took 1.

Sparsholt 2nds hosted Whitchurch at Locks Lane on a scorching Saturday afternoon. Stand in skipper Andy Worth lost the toss and was surprised to find Sparsholt were asked to bat on a day without a cloud in the sky. The reliable Andy Steggall was joined by Tim Lander as a new opening partnership and proceeded to put on 53 for the first wicket before Lander fell for 18. Skeoch down from the firsts then set about the Whitchurch bowling with Steggall in an 83 run partnership before Steggall was stumped for another elegant 66. Skipper Worth the joined fellow Lancastrian Skeoch who took the attack to Whitchurch with an array of shots and quick singles. Skeoch made 78 before being caught with the total on 209 with 9 overs left. Martin (18) hit some big blows as Worth continued to rotate the strike. Martin was out in the 43rd overvwith and quickly followed by Herridge as Sparsholt looked to maximise the total. Worth fell for 63 in the final over as Sparsholt amassed 264 from their allotted 45 overs.

The Whitchurch reply started well with captain Ralph anchoring one end as Dancer played some shots. The opening attack of Pryce (0-33 off 10) and Williams bowled tidily with no breakthrough. Ellis and Trivett were brought on with their spin to try and make in roads but Dancer had other ideas as he set about the bowling taking Whitchurch to 125 in the 25th over. Worth took the decision to bring himself on and Skeoch from the other end to try and slow down the scoring rate as the two Northerners bowled good lines. Skeoch (4 for 29 off 9)made the breakthrough having Dancer (74) caught behind, and quickly followed with 3 more wickets to restrict the scoring rate. Worth at the other end bowled a tidy spell taking 1 for 28 from 7 overs. With the game drifting away from Whitchurch Adam Trivett replaced worth and quickly took 2 wickets for 29 , Joshua Williams came back and took a well deserved wicket with 1 for 51 as The innings closed on 202 for 8 with Ralph not out on 82. 

The Southern Premier League allowed both Sparsholt and Liphook & Ripsley move their SPCL T20 fixtures in order to accomodate the National Village county final last weekend; as such - Sparsholt were due to play Bournemouth on Sunday 18th June; unfortunately Bournemouth were unable to raise a side due to a Dorset fixture among other reasons and as such conceded - meaning that

Sparsholt go through to the next round with a bye. The draw is being made on 20th June.

This weekend, Sparsholt's first team welcome South Wilts second team to the Norman Edwards Ground, the second team face Alton's third team in Hampshire League Div 4 North; and the third team are back in action at North Walls when they host Hook & Newnham Basics 4.

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