REDLYNCH & Hale’s first XI were on the road again for the long trip to Steep for the sixth time in eight meetings between the sides for this Hampshire Division Two encounter, writes Andy Church.

The visitors chose to bat first when James Taylor called correctly, but early wobbles with Dave Webber (7) and Nathan Pollard (2) had the score on 20-2 after seven overs.

However, a good stand of 83 between Ian Tanner (51) and Harvey Boardman (41) got the innings back on track.

Cameos from Andy Soutar (15) and Kev Hopkins (18) helped things along, but it was Will Hewlett who starred coming in at seven and striking seven fours and three maximums in his unbeaten 70.

The skipper weighed in with 14 at the end as his side closed out on 254-8. Stuart Smith was the pick of the home attack with 3-48.

In reply, Boardman struck early before Dave Collins (41) and James Kiddle (62), added 105 for the second wicket.

However, when George Hayes trapped Collins in front, the tide began to turn as wicket fell steadily.

With the early bowlers enjoying little success, it was Hayes (4-31) and Pollard (3-37) who broke the back of the run chase as the hosts run rate crept ever upwards.

Taylor (1-12) had Charlie Harrison pouched by Boardman as the finale got closer and when George Bliss had his stumps rearranged by Webber (1-35), it was the visitors who took the points to lift them to the top of the table.

Elsewhere, Bramshaw seconds advanced to 196 at Woodfalls Cross, where Redlynch & Hale’s second XI suffered a second consecutive narrow defeat.

Bramshaw's 140-run opening stand set the scene as Ollie Vincent (73) and George Gray (70) raced away.

However, Tom Emm (3-22) and James Roberts (4-51) arrested the flow to keep the visitors below the 200-mark.

Then in a fine run-chase, Ian Stevens (51) and 38 from skipper Jack Cobern kept hopes alive.

As the final over arrived with nine wickets down, there were still 17 needed to win. Rich Whitmarsh and Emm mustered 12 with a six needed to win from the last ball.

But this was a bridge too far as a dot ball meant Bramshaw were the winners.

Redlynch’s third XI went so close away at Damerham, in defending the 166 posted after Seb Lauzier (57) and Jamie Arch (40) batted well.

With nine wickets down thanks to Poppy Sladon (3-24), Emily Otton (2-14) and Brian Kimberley (2-13), two runs were needed, but Hayter squeezed a four past cover's left hand to secure the win.

On Sunday, the ladies hard ball side chased down the 179-3 posted by Langley Manor in just 18.3 overs.

Poppy Walker (44) and Flo Sharman (82no) posted 172 for the first wicket as the ladies triumphed by six wickets.

  • Elsewhere, after a week which saw more than a team’s worth of regulars unavailable, Farley were relieved to start Saturday’s games with two full sides, writes Paul Roberts.

That turned to delight as the club’s second team claimed an important win over Sparsholt thirds.

Batting first, Farley lost their openers early but Rob Feeney settled in for an important knock, supported first by Tom Pugh and then Adie Harding, who had answered the late call to play alongside his son.

Feeney’s 62 was the lynchpin of a competitive total of 163-8.

Though several Sparsholt batters got in, Farley maintained a steady flow of wickets, and despite some late order fireworks dismissed Sparsholt for 137. Gary Seymour claimed 3-14.

Farley’s first team put up a creditable performance at high flying IBM Hursley.

But after bowling the hosts out for 190, Farley were tied down by accurate bowling and some excellent fielding, ending on 143-9.