DESPITE a 90-run victory over basement team Totton and Eling 2nds at Picket Post, Ellingham are still almost certain of relegation from County Division 1 even if, by a miracle, they beat the division’s top team Alton 2nds in their final league game on Saturday, writes Simon Rowley.

Chris Batten (55) and Mark Burrett (8) gave Ellingham a solid start with an opening stand of 51 and Aaron Barker hit 34 on his return but it was Jim Edwards who helped them to 267 before they were all out in the 48th over.

Edwards hit his half-century off just 39 deliveries before he was out for 83.

The visitors were content to play out their overs at 177-8 with Booby Ball taking 2-4 at the end.

Sarisbury Athletic 2nds scraped a narrow one-wicket victory that keeps them 0.61 ahead of the Forest team.

This means, that to survive, Ellingham would need to gain at least 18 points from victory at Alton, while Sarisbury would have to lose heavily when they visit mid-table Shrewton.

Ellingham 2nds sacrificed several of their players to the first team’s bid for survival and their ten-man side was rolled over for just 68 when they visited Ampfield and North Baddesley in County Division 4 West.

Andy Weeks (21) top scored for Ellingham and he then took 2-21 alongside Ashley Hough (3-25) and Andy Donaghue (3-3) who made the combined side work hard for their two-wicket victory.

Burley travelled to Amesbury and, although Kieron Hudson hit an unbeaten century, they still lost by 74 runs. The home side’s openers Andy Renshaw (50) and Adi Berry (45) gave them an excellent platform with an opening stand of 85. Their skipper Jayme Underwood (78 no) then shared in stands of 86 for the third wicket with Sumith Surendran (49) and 61 unbeaten for the fourth with Dale Gower (33 no) as they posted 275-3, Dan Pullen taking 2-50.

After losing two wickets for 27, Burley were never likely to chase down the target set by Amesbury but Hudson and skipper Alec Moorman (44) attempted a recovery with a stand of 83. Once his captain was out with the score at 145-4, Burley were content to frustrate the Amesbury bowlers and Hudson (101 no) and Ray Gunn (8 no) put on 56 to take them to 201-4 at the close. Verwood’s 134 proved no problem for Pylewell Park who won by eight wickets.

Having restricted Paultons 2nds to a low score in County Division 3 South, Woodgreen made heavy weather of their reply before just managing to scrape home by one wicket.

John Harris hit an unbeaten 74 as Paultons were stopped at 137-6 after they had been held in check by Jason Naish (2-16 off 10 overs) and Angus Harley (1-12 off 10 overs) with Richard White taking two wickets.

Woodgreen were a long way from home at 28-3 but then Laurence Harding (67) and Ed Foster (15) put on 52 for the fourth wicket before they crumbled from 115-4 to 122-9 as Chris Dunn (5-22) did the damage.

It was left to bowlers Naish (11 no) and Harding (4 no) to put on 16 for the last wicket with Naish hitting the winning runs with a ball to spare.