THERE was a far better performance from Redlynch and Hale's first XI last Saturday as they jumped to equal third in the Hampshire County Three North with a comfortable home win over lowly Steeple Langford, writes ANDY CHURCH.

Visiting skipper Tom Bennett called correctly and choose to bat on a road of a track and saw his side race away to 78 in just 14 overs before Ben Brown (1-25) at last trapped Chris Mundy in front for 26.

With Kev Hopkins unusually out of sorts, the home skipper gave his two young bowlers Andy Soutar (0-25) and George Hayes a bowl.

The latter was making his debut having started the season in the third team.

Hayes (1-15 from 9 overs), bowling spin these days and was exceptional, tying down the visitors after claiming his first 1st XI victim, Nick Mundy, thanks to a smart stumping by Ian Tanner.

Dave Webber (2-15) then struck twice removing Andy Bennett (42) and the captain to really put the brakes on at 112-4.

But by now, the visitors were creaking, and when Russ Church, had Nick Partridge (22), pouched by Brown, things looked very ominous for Langford.

Church then accounted for both Dhanji brothers before completing a fine five-fer with 6.5-1-5-27 as the innings closed out on 150, with James Taylor taking the other wicket.

After tea Tanner and Webber got 56 on the board before the latter went for 16.

Tanner completed a fine knock of 57 adding another 72 with Glenn Willoughby, who remained 49 not out at the end. Although there was a slight wobble with Soutar and Hopkins going cheaply, Willoughby ensured maximum points, finding the cover boundary in the 35th over, for a morale boosting win by six wickets.

James Taylor was delighted with his side's response after last week's defeat, particularly with the performance of Hayes, who had been called in for the injured Will Hewlett.

The second team continue to sit proudly on top of Regional Division One North West undefeated, but were disappointed when their opponents Longparish II curiously called off at the 11th hour, unable to field a side.

Meanwhile the third XI made it four wins from the last four games to move up to second place in Regional Division Three North West.

Hosting Shrewton III, the visitors were bowled out for just 98, with Mick Wright (4-23) and Katie Sell (4-11 from three overs), doing most of the damage.

In reply, Ben Lindsay (19) and Harry Cobern (18) laid the foundation for Wright (20 not out) and Jack Cobern (16 not out) to ease the team home in the 25th over for a four wicket victory.