Tilford fell to their first defeat of the season in Division One of the I’Anson League on Saturday afternoon, losing by six wickets at Blackheath in a high-scoring match on a good pitch.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bat first. Openers Mark Ramesar and Matt Swarbrick started in a hurry, putting on 89 for the first wicket before Swarbrick was out leg before wicket to New Zealand spin bowler Ian Souness for an entertaining 51 off 45 balls. Ciaran Rooney added a further 68 with Ramesar, who then departed leg before to Pete Melhuish for 53.
Rooney was bowled by Ben Stefanik for exactly 50 with the total on 190, but from there the innings went into steep decline as Tilford collapsed to 215 all out in the 42nd over.
Souness finished with tidy figures of three for 19, and Stefanik helped to clean up the tail with four for 24.
Blackheath started brightly with a 30-run partnership for the first wicket, and the Melhuish brothers kept the run rate up with a further 61.
Captain Will Melhuish was caught for 58 with the total on 105, and the total reached 119 before 16-year-old Surrey under-18 wicketkeeper James Fortescue joined Tom Flavell.
These two remained untroubled as they put on 97 to see the hosts home in the 35th over. Flavell ended on 56 not out and Fortescue on 44 not out, while Ciaran Rooney took three for 46 for Tilford.
Headley’s first team hosted Midhurst’s first team, with both teams seeking their first win of the season. Stand-in Headley skipper Callum Hawtin won the toss and chose to have a bowl. This seemed a good decision as Headley made early inroads to leave Midhurst teetering at 49 for seven. Opening bowlers Devyn Scott (four for 11) and Jack Baldwin (two for 31) did the damage.
Some resistance came in the form of Midhurst captain Craig Edwards, who scored 63 not out, but the visitors were eventually bowled out for 103.
Calvin Bandi and George King opened the batting for Headley. The loss of a couple of early wickets gave Midhurst a glimmer of hope, but with King going along nicely, Wenban joined him and the two produced a nice partnership, punishing any loose deliveries.
When King fell for 20 chopping on to his stumps, the in- form Gavin Arend (22 not out) strolled out to partner Wenban (24 not out). Together they made light work of chasing down the target, as Headley got their first win of the season by seven wickets.
In Division Four, Headley’s second team beat Dogmersfield’s second team by six wickets. Headley lost the toss and were sent out to bowl.
Andy Coutts (four for eight) opened the bowling. He troubled the off stump and swung the ball in, taking three wickets in his opening spell.
Hari Elsetti (two for six), making his Headley debut, opened the bowling from the other end. He had a tidy start, nipping the ball in and strangling Dogmersfield of runs.
Valuable contributions from the rest of the bowling attack, and excellent fielding, limited Dogmersfield to 94 runs before they were bowled out in the 34th over.
Headley responded well with a steady run chase. Newcomer Elsetti came in at number three and scored 26.
Top scorer Algie Trotman came in at number four and steered Headley home with 30 not out. The innings was sensibly anchored by Hazel Wilkinson (three), before Coutts (nine not out) joined Trotman to get the job done in the 26th over.