Headley beat Tilford by three wickets to pick up an important win in their battle for survival in Division One of the I’Anson League.
The home side won the toss at the Bordon & Oakhanger Sports Club and put the visitors into bat. Opening bowlers Devyn Scott and Matty Hall restricted Tilford to 25 for three in the opening 14 overs.
It was left to Andy Hall Hall to rescue the innings with a patient 51 and late runs came from Huw Town-Jones and Denis Hounsham to end the innings at 152 for eight after 45 overs. Scott, Hall and Jack Baldwin took two wickets each, with Scott yielding only 12 runs off his nine overs.
Abro departed for 35 but Young continued his assault on the bowlers and added a further 54 with Alex Wenban.
Town-Jones returned to take three quick wickets to finish with four for 30 but Young was still there until he was caught on the boundary going for the winning runs. His fine innings of 86 contained nine fours and five sixes and came off 106 balls as Headley knocked off the winning runs in the 37th over.
In Division Four, Headley’s second team slipped to a close two-wicket defeat at Farncombe’s second team.
With the league table tightly congested, all results could drastically reposition each team’s standings.
Headley won the toss and elected to bat on a firm track that had been well protected from poor midweek weather.
Opener Matt Joyce dug in well to see off a tidy opening bowling spell from Farncombe skipper Stephen Wells and Nick Wylde (four for 12).
The watchful Joyce was eventually caught for 25 from 87 deliveries and Headley’s middle order remained quiet.
A seventh-wicket partnership of 49 runs between Dan Cross (29 not out) and the evergreen Algie Trotman (22) bolstered the travelling side’s score, with Headley finishing on 107 for seven at the end of their allotted 40 overs.
The hosts started well in response and got through a tidy opening bowling spell from Kieran Cook (one for 17) and Tim Canning. Farncombe put on 42 for the first wicket before losing opener Richard Baker.
Fellow opener Ben Dray batted intelligently for 44 runs from 82 balls before he was caught at cover by Paul Kelly.
With 12 runs needed for victory and six wickets in hand, the game felt like it had drifted from Headley. However, an exceptional three-wicket over from John Canning (four for 32) set up a tight finish. Farncombe had got the target down to one run to win when Trotman took the eighth wicket.
Wylde then edged between the wicketkeeper and first slip to secure the winning run.
Alton’s fourth team continued their promotion push with a 63-run victory against Wrecclesham in Division Five.
After the Brewers lost their first three games of the season they looked set for a relegation battle – seven wins and two draws later the battle is a promotion one.
The latest win at Wrecclesham was a team effort. The Brewers posted a daunting 209 for four in their 40 overs, with Nathan Vincent (47), Rob Crook (40 not out), Toby Pascoe (32 not out) and Richard Housley (31) all making useful contributions for the visitors.
The Brewers were in complete control throughout their innings with only home skipper Leo Carter and opening bowler Oli Caston managing to partially stem the onslaught.
After tea the Brewers’ young bowlers took to the stage with debutants Oli Lynn and Josh Bogue ably supported by Matthew Craig and Ethan Orme – all four seamers made good use of the worsening pitch.
After losing three quick wickets the hosts looked to consolidate through Carter (48) and Darren Bridger (40) – but in doing so effectively left any attempt for the win too late. The spin duet of Vincent and Jamie Craig were unplayable as the pitch cut up further, and it was Craig who picked up three late wickets to give the Brewers a couple of extra bowling points.
In Division Six, Headley’s third team crashed to a comprehensive ten-wicket defeat at Frimley Phoenix.
Headley were hampered by limited numbers and were all out for 73 in the 28th over against the league leaders, with only Rana Rizwan (33) and Sam Bicknell (12 not out) reaching double figures.
The hosts knocked off the required runs in the 13th over to secure a comfortable win.