Alton earned a superb six-wicket victory against Havant in the Southern Premier Cricket League Premier Division on Saturday.

A strong Alton side headed to Havant Park for an important game for both sides. With a downpour of rain 30 minutes before the start of play, the covers were put on, which led to a five-minute delay in the start of play. Alton captain Scott Myers won the toss and elected to bowl.

Havant openers Peter Hopson and Christopher Morgan looked to make a positive start, capitalising on any width early on before an early flurry of wickets. Bash Walters took three quick wickets and was backed up nicely by Jude Wright, who hit the top of off stump to send Hopson back to the clubhouse. This brought teenager Ben Feeney to the crease alongside Havant stalwart Richard Hindley, with the pair looking to rebuild.

Alton continued to bowl well, but this did not phase the batting pair. Capitalising on any over pitched deliveries, Feeney and Hindley made their way into the 20s. Myers looked for a change of fortune and turned to Zack Gadsby for a wicket. The wicket did come soon afterwards, with Feeney (23) flashing at a short wide one from Gadsby, giving wicketkeeper Mark Heffernan his second catch of the innings.

This brought Robert Woolley to the crease. He looked to play positively, moving his feet well and putting the Alton bowlers off. Hindley was then struck on the pad from the bowling of Ben Rolfs to leave Havant on 110 for six.

Woolley followed soon afterwards, a faint edge off the bowling of Walters going into the gloves of Heffernan – who claimed his third catch of the innings. Oliver Jones and Harrison Barnard looked to steady the ship. Jones scored a well-made 36 before being dismissed leg before wicket by Wright, bringing Aron Tubman to the crease.

Tubman came and went for five, dismissed leg before wicket by Dan Sumner. Barnard looked to push on, getting the score past 200 alongside Richard Jerry, with Jerry dismissed by Walters (five for 51) to complete the Alton bowler’s five-for. Havant were dismissed for 201.

Alton openers Dan Harris and Aarav Rajnikanth had 25 minutes to bat before the tea break. Looking to capitalise on any over pitched bowling, the pair did well, easing Alton through to 33 without loss at tea.

Following tea, Havant looked to the left-arm spin of Chris Morgan early on. Morgan bowled nicely but had no luck in his early overs. At the other end, Jerry carried on down the hill, eventually nipping one back through the gate to Harris, who was removed for 24. Prior to this, Rajnikanth had been suffering with cramp, and was forced to retire not out to ease the pain.

This brought Rolfs and Myers to the crease, with both looking solid in defence early on. Myers looked to capitalise on any short balls and Rolfs played elegantly. Rolfs mistimed a sweep shot off the bowling of Morgan, and was caught for a well made 22. This brought Rajnikanth back to the crease, who was also caught, this time off the bowling of Tubman.

Sam Ruffell came in, looking to support Myers and try to get Alton over the line for the first time this season. Havant went with spin from both ends, with Morgan and Hindley the pair looking to take wickets. Ruffell played positively, moving into the 20s at just under a run a ball. Myers looked to take on Morgan, but he was caught at long-off, leaving Alton on 115 for four and needing 87 to win.

This brought teenager Wright to the crease, who had been struggling for form – but there were no signs of this during his innings. Wright and Ruffell looked to take on the spinners, with a flurry of fours and sixes by the pair moving Alton closer to the required target. Ruffell moved past 50, and continued to score alongside Wright. Ruffell hit a four over mid-off to secure the game for Alton – an excellent partnership by the teenagers leaving Ruffell on 69 not out and Wright on 42 not out.

A much-needed win for Alton, giving them 22 points.