RAIN resulted in three of South Wilts' four scheduled Saturday fixtures being washed out.

Only their fourths managed to defy the elements and in doing so achieved a good win at Shrewton seconds.

Tom Cowley, 5-26, was chief destroyer in Shrewton's 157 all out.

Chasing a rain-corrected 128, South Wilts cruised home with ten balls to spare, scoring 129-3 off of 30.2 overs with Owain Phillips hitting 70 not out and Jon Fisher 33.

South Wilts' first string's match on Saturday was abandoned after just one ball leaving skipper Rob Wade to reflect on the season so far.

"We've had a big turnover of players in recent seasons and as predicted at the start of the season, this year was always going to be more difficult than previous seasons.

"In simple terms, we have lost to the top sides and beaten the lower sides."

Sadly for them, Saturday's fixture was the visit of rock bottom Hursley Park, and if they could have chosen a fixture to be abandoned, that certainly would not have been it.

The Salisbury club currently lie in eighth place in the table with this weekend's hosting of Bashley signalling the halfway point of the season.

Below them are Hursley Park and last season's promoted side St Cross, whose victory over Portsmouth at the weekend pulled them further away from the bottom.

At the top of the table sit Hampshire Academy and Wade believes the title already looks to be a two-way battle between them and Totton & Eling (formerly BAT Sports).

"Bournemouth and Havant sit below them, but both look unlikely to sustain a title challenge.

"South Wilts' pre-season aim was a top half finish so we will need to pick up some form in the forthcoming weeks.

Wade believes the title will be Totton-bound for the third successive season: "The Academy have repeatedly stated that they are not in it to win it, rather it is all about the development of players, so it will be interesting to watch their team selections in the second half of the season.

"Totton are the best side in it this season in my view and if all their players are available all season, they're my pick."

Meanwhile, South Wilts' seconds have had a couple of disappointments in the past two weeks but will be relatively content with the way things have gone on their return to the Southern Premier Third Division.

The majority of the team are under 18 and so it represents a good effort to be competing in a division just two below their first XI.

Wade explained: "They probably need four wins to secure their place in the division, and they already have two. With availability hopefully set to improve with the end of term-time at schools and universities, Jon Williams' side can hopefully achieve their aim and stay up."

The club's thirds have had a mixed bag of results this season.

"After relegation to Hampshire County Division Three last year, there was a general feeling around the club that this was the right level for the team to provide a stepping-stone for youngsters to the second team," said Wade.

"Trevor Pittman's side seem to have tasted defeat and victory in equal measure so far, but to be fair the result has largely de-pended on the availability of players.

"Their current position is just above halfway so they too will be satisfied so far."

The club's fourths' results have mirrored the third string's, with results dependent on availability.

"When at full strength, Matt Shellum's young side is more than a match for most teams in the league," added the skipper.

"They currently lie halfway in what seems to be a very competitive Hampshire Regional Three (North West)."

Saturday's first team match with Bashley starts at 11.30am.