Tilford hang on after rare batting collapse against Blackheath
Tilford suffered a setback as they were held to a losing draw against one of their rivals for the I’Anson Cup title, Blackheath.
Grayswood took advantage, winning their seventh league game on the bounce to stretch their lead at the top.
The showdowns between Tilford and Grayswood now look likely to have a huge say in the destination of the silverware this summer.
Tilford won the toss and put Blackheath into bat first and they achieved early successes with both openers, including Harry Bardon for 20, falling to Jason Stones with 30 runs on the board.
Steady bowling restricted the scoring rate and by the end of the 27th over the total was 58 with two further wickets down.
Peter Melhuish was then joined by Ronnie Harrison and together the pair put on 53 to take the score past 100 before Melhuish was caught for 30, one of three good outfield catches by Henry Marks.
Elliot Cousins hit a quick cameo of 22 but he and top scorer Harrison (42) were out with the score on 150 as the innings finished on the same total in the 47th over.
For Tilford, Stones took four for 45 and George Ellis two for 21.
Tilford made a good start against the opening bowlers with 47 added for the first wicket, Hugh French departing for 21.
Ciaran Rooney soon followed for 25 as slow bowlers Ian Souness and Alex Bertola dominated the attack.
Apart from Ellis, also with 25, the innings collapsed with six wickets falling for 13 runs with the overseas Kiwi player taking seven for 35 off 14 overs and Bertola one for 14 off 11.
It was left to Huw Town-Jones to defend the final overs with Nigel Martyn as the innings closed on 111 for eight after 43 overs.
Alton’s fourth team clinched their first Division 5 victory of the season as they saw off Liphook’s third team.
The Brewers secured 22 points to Liphook’s two to move out of the relegation spots.
After losing the toss and being asked to bat, the Brewers skipper Martin Green asked veteran Adrian Trim (44) to open the batting and act as the rock to hold the innings together.
Trim took the opportunity and batted like it was a Test match, holding up one end while wickets fell around him.
The rate was slow as the excellent Liphook youngsters repaid the faith in their selection.
After Jon Wills, Nic Gadsby (to a close lbw) and Freeman fell cheaply, Abi Green joined Trim in the middle and decided to take the attack to the visitors.
Some big shots and then some wayward bowling opened up the field and gave them plenty of scoring opportunities, and their 70-run partnership for the fourth wicket gave the innings much-needed impetus.
When Green Jnr played one shot too many and was bowled, it was down to the tail to put on a few more – which they did.
Trim was eventually bowled six short of his half-century and the Brewers closed on 138.
Rory Butler and Molly Abley, both making their debuts for the Brewers, opened the bowling and found great lines without making a breakthrough.
Liphook opener Alistair Lewis always looked in control and kept the rate up by punishing any bad ball. Dom Cooney was targeted by the Liphook skipper and at 45 without loss the Brewers knew a breakthrough was needed.
For the second time in the match, the partnership of Trim and Abi Green were called upon – and once again they delivered, a combined 12-over stint going for 17 runs and saw six of the top seven Liphook batters return to the clubhouse.
Lewis edged Green to Trim at slip who took a great catch, completing his player-of-the-day performance.
Liphook dug in for the draw and Green Snr rotated his bowling, looking to finish off the visitors.
Alexander Stratford took two, Toby Pascoe one but as all stories end happily it had to be Trim who, with overs running out, took the final wicket.
Brought back for his final over, he clean bowled the distraught Frank Tickle to take the match and a much-deserved victory.
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