Rory Prentice hit 42 from just 15 balls but it was not enough to fire Portsmouth Grammar School into the final of the English Schools’ t20 competition.
The Hambledon all-rounder’s knock helped propel the under-15s to 155 for four against Whitgift School in the second semi on finals day at Arundel.
Skipper Andy Grovin also struck 35, while Ben Caldera weighed in with 24 as the south coast side posted a competitive total. But it was not enough as their Surrey rivals chased down the target for the loss of just two wickets.
It was the second successive year the school have reached finals day.
They had to progress through four rounds before they were crowned Hampshire champions.
The starlets then travelled to Dorset where they defeated Sherbourne School and Ryde School to book their place in the south and west region finals day.
There they got the better of Exeter, Dauntseys and Stowe – in a series of indoor games after the outdoor fixtures were the victim of heavy rain.