TIilford squeezed home by one wicket against Frensham on Saturday to remain in the three-way I’Anson title race with Grayswood and Blackheath.
Fixtures between Tilford and Frensham often produce tight results, and last Saturday’s contest was no different.
Frensham won the toss and elected to bat first, but lost early wickets and were reduced to 18 for four with Huw Town-Jones and Jason Stones claiming two apiece.
James Wood then joined Jordan Frost to start repairing the innings in a partnership of 34, before both fell to Nigel Martyn – who claimed five for 27 for his third five-for of the season.
Edwin Carrihill then hit out for 37 not out as the last wicket added 30 before the innings closed on 107 in the 35th over. Town-Jones took three for 13 and Stones two for 14.
In reply, Tilford lost Ciaran Rooney early to Tim Knight and George Ellis was leg before wicket to Carrihill with the total of 41 on the stroke of tea.
These two slow bowlers – together with Chris Pow – continued to cause problems for the batsmen, aided by some smart catching. The score sank to 65 for six before Town-Jones came in to hold the innings together. Three further wickets fell to Knight, who finished his nine overs with four for 20.
With solid defence from Stones and needing 22 to win, Town-Jones hit out with a large six and two fours to ease the pressure – and streaked the winning run through the slip cordon to reach 30 not out in the 31st over. Pow took three for 25 and Carrihill two for 35 in Tilford’s innings of 108 for nine.
In Division 5, Alton’s fourth team followed up last week’s victory with a four-wicket win against Wood Street Village’s second team.
With the sun out and the pitch looking good, Wood Street’s captain had no doubt about batting first when winning the toss. Thirty overs later and with the opening stand passing 150, that looked like an excellent decision.
Alton’s bowlers did generate a few chances, but they came and went as catches were dropped.
Barry McConnell was eventually dismissed for 76 by Alex Freeman, who then supported the run outs of Jake West (79) and David Mallalieu (five).
The visitors posted a daunting 217 for three off their allotted 40 overs.
Despite not taking any wickets, Adrian Trim was once again the pick of the Alton bowlers – restricting the visitors to 20 runs from his nine overs.
After the break Alton’s openers got the run chase off to the perfect start with a century stand before West cleaned up Iain Cooper for 49.
Freeman, batting with skipper Martin Green, quickly secured his own half-century and then pushed on – the pair putting on a further 71 runs before Freeman (93) popped one up for Brian Noble to catch.
The required rate kept on building up and Green (six) and Ali Wright (two) were soon back in the pavilion.
Brian Gillingham (16) and Vishwas Iyer (20 not out) pushed the score on before Gillingham was caught excellently at gully by Adam Trinick.
The game was in the balance and off the final over the Brewers still needed six runs. Iyer eventually hit the winning runs with three balls to spare, sparking celebrations from the Alton team. The win keeps Alton’s hopes of staying up very much alive.