FREE-SCORING Dave Webber smashed his 1,000 run as Redlynch and Hale stayed in contention for promotion with a much-needed 55-run victory over high-flyers Hursley Park.

Webber reached the milestone in a fine spell of 69 at the Quarters Ground to ensure Redlynch preserved third spot with one match to go.

Barring a mathematical miracle, Ian Tanner's men won't be able to win Hampshire County Division 3 North, but a solid win over Littleton and West Hill, coupled with defeat for second-placed Michelmersh and Timsbury, would clinch promotion.

It was something of a miracle that the game was on at all as dark threatening clouds scudded across the sky on a near gale-force wind. But the covers had done their job and with the strong possibility of a rain-affected game, it was no surprise when Tanner's men were asked to bat first.

The skipper fell cheaply with an uncharacteristically lazy shot.

However, in-form Dave Webber was out of the traps quickly and struck 10 fours before he was finally caught and bowled by Raman Prendergast for 69.

This took the Redlynch opener past 1,000 runs in all matches for the season. Once Webber departed, though, no one was really able to maintain momentum, although cameos from Matt Truckle (22) and Nathan Pollard (19) helped the score to 182 all out at the interval as Ishaq Rahim mopped up the tail with 4-16.

Hursley were clearly in a hurry to beat the forecast rain and went off quickly, with Matt Oliver (40) showing well, before James Taylor held on to one with the score on 83-4. The pendulum swung back towards the visitors as spin king Tom Emm (4-31) slowed things down and wickets fell steadily. The pendulum threatened to swing again as Ollie Green was looking dangerous, but Truckle held a fine catch at cover to send Green on his way for 32.

The rain finally came with the total on 127-9 and the last pair at the crease, still needing 55 from 10 overs. After the downpour and in poor light, the umpires agreed that no further play was possible and declared R&H winners on the faster run rate.