WITH the go-ahead given for recreational cricket to begin, Alton CC were quick to take full advantage.
With a lot of hard work being carried out off the pitch and provisions being made so all Covid guidelines were followed, Saturday saw the return of cricket to Jubilee Playing Fields.
Alton held a club day with a mixture of ones and twos playing each other, as did the threes and fours.
The Sports Centre end saw fourth skipper Marin Green take on third team captain Ian Mason, while at the Clubhouse End club captain Scott Myers skippered a side against second team skipper Andy Postles.
There was a strange feel to proceedings as a pre-season game does not seem right in July.
With all the Covid-19 protocols explained, Scott Myers won the toss and elected to bat first on what was a fantastic pitch.
Myers XI lost Gonella early on, Toby Salmon removing his first team counterpart for five.
When Alex Hammond was bowled by Michael Salmon for 19, the Myers XI had slipped to 40 for two.
Joe Paul (64) and Scott Myers (94) rebuilt and added well over 100 for the third wicket before both retiring.
Michael Heffernan (28 not out) and Jude Wright (24 not out) added some handy late runs as the Myers XI closed on 254 off their 40 overs.
The Postles XI were fast out of the traps with Mark Heffernan the aggressor in an opening stand of 98 with skipper Postles, before the latter was run out for 18.
The Myers XI were a little wayward and failed to take their chances as Heffernan plundered 11 boundaries in his 59, before edging behind to Janmohamed off the bowling of Myers.
The Myers XI dragged the scoring rate back with good spells from Gemma Porter and Xavier Bochereau.
Nilanka Kodithuwakku (21) and Freddie Eggleston (34) made useful contributions but Bochereau returned figures of four for 42 to reduce the Postles XI to 186 for six.
The Postles XI needed something special and despite a fine returning spell from Zack Gadsby, Andy Pearce had all the answers as he smashed 50 off just 32 balls.
Young Jude Wright finally removed Pearce for 50 – but the damage was done. With seven needed off the last over, Wright took it to the last ball but Ballinger and young Toby Fuller held their nerve, Ballinger smashing the final ball for four to give the Postles XI victory as they ended 258 for nine in what was a great game.
The game at the Sports Centre end was a more one-sided affair as the Mason XI ran out comfortable winners.
The Mason XI amassed 236 for SIX off their 40 overs with Gareth Billington top scoring with 87 and Sam Bridger making 32.
Unfortunately, the Green XI had no answers with the bat as they were bundled out for 81.
The experienced Trimm picked up two for four off his six overs while Jeremy Burgess took three for seven off his six.
The only resistance came from young Nathan Vincent, who top scored with 23.
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