Alton return to winning ways with convincing victory against Calmore Sports
Freddie Egleston sends down a delivery. Picture by Jack Myers
At the halfway stage of the season, Alton admitted they have been disappointed with their record of five wins from nine games.
As the return fixtures began, and the Brewers faced national village knockout champions Calmore, they knew they could not afford to lose more ground.
And although Calmore started the match in second place in the table, and the Brewers knew it would not be an easy afternoon, with their good home form they were confident they could return to winning ways.
And that is exactly how it turned out, as they battled to a convincing victory.
Despite the sun beating down on Jubilee, skipper Scott Myers won the toss and elected to have a bowl.
That decision paid off as Calmore’s leading run scorer Ben Johns was dismissed for eight, Myers with the catch at second slip off Bash Walters.
Abhay Gonella and Myers both got in on the act with a wicket apiece as Calmore slipped to 19 for three. Shawn Johnson came to the crease and looked to counter attack, and he struck a quickfire 20 off 19 balls before he holed out to Gonella, Tom South picking up his first wicket to leave Calmore on 41 for four.
Myers completed an economical spell of one for 13 off ten overs, including six maidens. The visitors’ lack of intent with the bat was somewhat confusing with only Johnson looking to score.
Things got worse for Calmore as three more quick wickets saw them slip to 48 for seven. South trapped Max Bailey for two and ended with fine figures of two wickets for just 14 runs off his ten overs.
The returning Walters then picked up two more wickets, as James Manning edged behind for five and Ben Fisher was caught for one.
The Brewers were looking for a quick finish to the innings but Josh Metcalfe and Ben Perry had other ideas.
The pair patiently went about their business and began to build a partnership. With no demons in the pitch, they began to frustrate the home side as they added 107 for the eighth wicket.
Alton tried to break the partnership but to no avail, as Walters ended with figures of three for 30 as Metcalfe completed his half century off 71 balls. Alton finally broke the partnership as Freddie Egleston had Perry caught in the deep for 42.
The visitors had moved to 155 for eight, and some late blows from Steve Wright – who made 11 – and Metcalfe, who remained unbeaten on 71, saw Calmore reach 186 for eight after their 50 overs. Metcalfe had at least given the visitors something to bowl at.
Despite giving up a strong position, Alton knew it was a good surface to bat on and if they could bat their overs they would likely reach their target.
Any nerves were eased as Dan Harris and Gonella got off to a bright start as they added 50 runs off just 47 balls. Harris was the aggressor as he struck a boundary-strewn 46 off just 30 balls.
In total Harris hit ten fours before one big shot too many saw him caught off the bowling of Mark Lavelle to leave Alton 59 for one.
The loss of Harris did not change Alton’s approach, and Gonella stood firm as Mark Heffernan struck a run-a-ball 22.
The outfield was quick as Heffernan struck five boundaries in his stay before giving an easy catch to Wright as Perry made the breakthrough as Alton reached 84 for two.
Myers joined Gonella as Alton moved into three figures inside 20 overs.
Gonella continued to accumulate as Myers raced to his 50 off 52 balls. As Alton eased towards their target, Gonella began to show his full array of shots, including two sweetly- struck maximums down the ground.
Gonella moved to a fine 50 as he and Myers added 103 runs to seal a comprehensive eight-wicket win.
Myers capped off a fine all-round performance as he made an unbeaten 65 off 68 balls including seven fours and a six.
Alton will look to take this form into this weekend as they face another tough game against high-riding Sarisbury at Jubilee.
Report: Michael Heffernan
Pictures: Jack Myers
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