Alton lost the Southern Premier Cricket League Twenty20 Cup final as Burridge completed a superb league and cup double – winning by 17 runs.

Having secured their Premier Division status for another season Alton went into the final in positive mood, but started as underdogs against a Burridge side who had claimed their first Southern Premier Cricket League title.

Alton won the toss at South Wilts Sports Club – with the venue being moved from the Ageas Bowl this season over the fee required to host the event – and chose to bowl.

South African Matthew Goles – the league’s top run scorer – hit a fine six over extra cover from the third ball of the day from Zack Gadsby to get Burridge off to a quick start.

Off-spinner Dan Sumner got the breakthrough for Alton as he removed Inayat Ullah, which brought South African Nathan Schoultz to the crease with his compatriot. The pair scored at ten runs an over before the dangerous Goles was removed by a smart piece of fielding for 35 from 25 balls.

Schoultz initially looked to rotate the strike, before he unleashed a boundary-strewn blitz and continued to score at a superb rate. His knock included reverse sweeps for six and a monstrous slog sweep on to the nearby hockey pitch which took Burridge to 121 for two from just 13 overs.

However, just as Burridge looked to be piling on a huge target, Alton picked up a cluster of wickets. Skipper Scott Myers removed Chris Blake for 13 before Gadsby returned to claim three quick wickets and finish his four overs with figures of three for 21. Dan Scott picked up two for 21 in a tidy spell, while Tom Varney bowled well without reward.

With the cluster of wickets in the latter part of their innings Burridge closed on 165 for eight – well short of what they were threatening, but probably just above par.

Alton’s innings started in circumspect fashion, with Burridge’s dangerous seam attack bowling in good areas. Dan Harris, carrying an ankle injury from the previous week, looked to dominate, but rotating the strike proved difficult.

Sam Ruffel (ten) and Michael Heffernan (11) both made starts but couldn’t advance the rate, and when Harris fell for 27 Alton were 56 for three.

Mark Heffernan and Myers continued to chip away, but Alton always felt an over or two behind the rate. Heffernan (ten) and Freddie Eggleston (seven) were removed to leave the Brewers on 107 for five.

Left-hander Joe Paul joined skipper Myers and wasted no time in giving Alton a lifeline.

He nudged a few runs to get his innings going before unleashing in the penultimate over, with Alton still requiring an unlikely 45 runs to win. Paul hit three sixes and a four, collecting 25 from the over and giving Alton a glimmer of hope needing 20 from the last.

However, experienced seamer Dan Stancliffe (two for 16) returned to complete a fabulous spell and close out the match in the last over with the wicket of Myers (27) to leave Alton 17 short on 148 for six.

Burridge seamers Brad Griffiths (three for 21), Ollie Creal and Francis Moore all bowled economically, with support from the off-spin of Goles.

Hampshire’s Ross Whiteley awarded the trophy to Burridge, who celebrated their deserved league and cup double.

Alton were left to wonder what might have been on their long journey home from Salisbury – but with the consolation of Premier Division cricket again next season.