A GREY and drizzly trip to Winchester for James Taylor's Redlynch and Hale's depleted 1st XI, was pretty much decided on the toss in the crucial top of the table Hampshire League County Three North clash with RAM.

When Taylor called wrongly, the gleeful home skipper immediately took first use of the cherry in the overcast conditions.

The strong attack, bowled extremely well as a unit, but it was paceman Inayat Khan who broke through sending Ian Tanner on his way for 13. Dave Webber had departed cheaply, but Andy Soutar (31) grafted very well for 90 minutes amidst countless appeals to the umpires.

Khan struck three more times to finish with 4-16, swinging the ball both ways and with a lot of help from a damp pitch.

But the departure of Soutar signalled the start of a collapse and with no one able to cope with Wahid Anwar (3-15) and Liaquatt Hussain (2-3) the innings struggled to 88 all out with still seven overs remaining.

With the stuffing knocked out of them the visitors were somewhat subdued, ruing the unavailability of three key players for such a vital game and with such a small total to defend, it was always going to be an uphill struggle.

Needless to say, it was Inayat Khan who opened the batting and dominated the strike, racing to 41 before Ben Vincent trapped him in front.

Sajjad Kiani (12) and Amjad Khan (10) kept up the momentum, and although Ben Brown (1-15), George Hayes (1-11) and Taylor (1-13) grabbed a wicket each, it was all over in the 17th over and RAM were back on top of the table.

With maximum points wins now needed to be certain of promotion, the pressure just got ramped up a gear.

At Woodfalls Cross, the seconds could only muster 154-6 despite an excellent unbeaten 65 from youngster Harvey Boardman.

The drizzle again played it's part in holding up the ball on many occasions as Mcreath and Price both bagged a brace.

After the interval, despite an early breakthrough by Dom Sell, and Jack Sobocinski taking 2-33, it was Mcreath who took the game completely away from the hosts to remain 96 not out as the target was overhauled.

Meanwhile at Hyde, the third XI were involved in the rare cricket result of a tie!

It was clearly a good day for the Boardman family as younger sibling Archie notched his maiden half century finishing on 63 not out with good support from Andy Church (41) and Mick Wright (45 not out) to post 208-4.

In reply, Rob Holbrook (37), Ian Ingham (46) and Mike Shuttler (40) all batted well.

As the run chase got tighter and tighter, Steve Turner (52 not out) played anchorman as wickets fell around him. It came down to 194-9 and 15 needed from the final over.

Katie Sell (2-53) bowled very well, but by scampering two's to the long boundaries, and Turner keeping the strike, the pressure mounted.

But with only two scored from the final ball the scores were level and the match tied.