George Marshall returned to century-scoring form with a terrific 127 as United Services continued their march in Southern Electric Premier League division three.
After some recent low scores – by his high standards – the US opener struck his fourth league ton of the campaign, cracking 10 fours and two sixes in his 126-ball knock as the high-flyers dodged the showers to chalk up a seventh straight victory.
Their 59-run success over Fareham & Crofton was the only game in division three to beat the weather and extended Services’ perfect start to the season ahead of a crucial showdown with fellow promotion candidates OTs & Romsey next week.
With Marshall back among the runs, US posted a hefty 273 all out as Danny Durant (three for 39) was the pick of the Fareham bowlers.
While that target was reduced to 235 from 45 overs for Bob Marchant’s side, the Burnaby Road outfit restricted the visitors to 176 for eight in reply.
Carroll said: ‘I suppose by his high standards George had dropped off a bit but he’s been a bit unfortunate as well.
‘He got a bit of a dodgy lbw at Trojans last week and the week before we played on a bit of a sketchy wicket and he top scored for us in a low-scoring game. I don’t think he got affected by things.
‘To be honest, I think he likes the attention and wants to be noticed because he wants to get a chance with a county.
‘I’ve said it before but he didn’t give a chance on a tricky wicket to bat on.’
With the weather expected to play a role, Carroll was unsure what to do after winning the toss.
And he feared he had made the wrong decision when he saw his men reduced to 10 for two early on.
He said: ‘I won the toss and I wasn’t too sure what to do with the weather about and playing on a wicket we haven’t used before.
‘I batted in the end and the wicket probably wasn’t a 270 wicket but with George in the side he made it look easy.
‘We were in trouble at the start and then George and Dave Riches steadied the ship.
‘Then Damian Carson came in at five and got 45.
‘They batted really well together to get us to a decent total.
‘We were always confident of defending that.’
Marchant’s side did not roll over, though, as Kev Light (70) and Brent Jarvis-Spinks (44) gave the visitors hope with a fruitful partnership.
But once the pair had departed, US tightened their grip to seal the win.
Carroll said: ‘We had a couple of showers and then they had a good partnership in the middle, with Kev Light doing well.
‘Brent Jarvis-Spinks looked dangerous as well but once he holed out, they collapsed.’
Marshall, who recently played a second team game for Hampshire, is still keen to progress his career further and has been invited to play for Dorset in a forthcoming match.
But Carroll insists there is more to his side than their star batsman.
He said: ‘Other teams are probably looking at us thinking we’re a one-man team but it’s not the case.
‘George hasn’t got the big scores in the past few weeks but other people have chipped in and got us over the line.
‘We bat all the way down to number 10 and I’ve got plenty of options with the ball as well.
‘We’ve got OTs next weekend and that is a massive game for us.
‘We know they are a good side but we think we are as well.
‘We’re going really well. There is a good buzz around the club at the moment and we’re playing with a lot of confidence.’