Rain wiped out Southern League matches

Sarisbury's match was one of the many hit by the rain on Saturday. Picture: Paul Jacobs (160257-2)
Sarisbury's match was one of the many hit by the rain on Saturday. Picture: Paul Jacobs (160257-2)
Stuart Ransley stepped it up against South Wilts. Picture: Neil Marshall

Havant confident league crown will be secured

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RAIN washed out 16 of the 20 matches in round three of the Southern League.

Play was only possible at four separate venues.

The only premier division start was on the Ageas Bowl Nursery Ground, where a stronger than normal Hampshire Academy side had Alton 51 for two when rain halted play.

Australian Dan Hutton was 32 not out, with Bashley (Rydal) teenager George Pardoe (two for nine) taking both the wickets.

Not a ball was bowled in division two while Hartley Wintney were handily placed at 98 for one (Tommy Garwood 33) at Hambledon when rain closed in across Broadhalfpenny Down.

A total of 19 overs were bowled before the conditions became unplayable and the game was abandoned.

‘Both teams were glad to come off because it wasn’t very pleasant out there,’ said Don’s captain Will Bond.

‘It was the right decision to start because earlier it wasn’t raining and the ground wasn’t too wet.

‘After five or six overs, though, once it started raining it became a bit treacherous out there.

‘The ball became very slippery and players also found it difficult to keep their footing.

‘We brought on a couple of spinners but they couldn’t turn the ball and ended up bowling seam up.

‘It was a nightmare for the bowlers and we possibly stayed out there 10 overs too long.’

Hambledon have a big weekend ahead as they take on Sparsholt twice in the space of 48 hours.

The two sides meet in the league on Saturday and again the next day in the National Village Knockout competition.

Bond accepts it won’t be easy for either team playing each other twice in such a short space of time.

‘It will be interesting to see how players adapt to the situation,’ he added.

‘We have a good history in the competition and would like to continue that.

‘Sparsholt will be a big test because they have got a number of experienced players in their ranks.’

In division three Pete Hopson (44 not out) looked in good touch before the rain washed out Havant II’s derby against Gosport Borough.

The home side reached 81 for two when the weather intervened.