Hambledon march on but Chapman’s key catch is disputed by Portsmouth & Southsea

Will Bond
Will Bond
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HAMBLEDON edged hosts Portsmouth & Southsea by 12 runs in Southern League division three on Saturday.

It was a fiery contest and a low-scoring affair on a tricky wicket.

The home side were fuming, however, feeling that the key catch should not have been awarded.

With 12 runs needed to overhaul Hambledon’s score of 138, home batsman Jack Davies, who had been there from the start, flashed a shot down to third man.

Rhidian Chapman, fielding on the boundary, dived forward to take the catch and win the game for his side.

But home captain Keiron Dunstan was adamant in his view that it wasn’t taken cleanly.

He said: ‘It happened right in front of us and it was pretty obvious.

‘We were fuming and I let Hambledon know we were not happy.’

Hambledon captain Will Bond felt the hosts had little cause for complaint and backed his fielder.

He said: ‘I couldn’t see because it was right down at third man but Rhidian was in no doubt he caught it.

‘Most importantly the umpires were happy with it.’

After winning the toss Dunstan put Hambledon in to bat and proceeded to take wickets at a regular rate.

Debut-making 17-year-old Dan Turner bowled well and skipper Dunstan weighed in with three wickets for 19 runs.

It was still looking like a difficult chase for the home team.

‘Though we weren’t chasing a massive total we knew in the conditions it wasn’t going to be easy,’ added Dunstan.

‘The pitch did dry out a bit and we looked well set when we reached forty before losing our first wicket.

‘Then their spinners came on and produced a fantastic spell.

‘Ian Turner bowled Matt Benfield through the gate first ball and suddenly we lost four quick wickets for just 12 runs.

‘Suddenly the game took on a totally different complexion.

‘Ben Saunders and Jack Davies regained the initiative for us and at 120 for six it looked as though the game was back in our hands.

‘Unfortunately they brought their opening bowlers back and they did the rest of the damage.’

Dunston admitted after losing three of their opening four games they have a bit of work to do particularly in the batting department.

Hambledon on the other hand have put together a run of four successive wins

Spencer Le Clerq (25) was the pick of the batsmen.

Bond again praised spinners Ian Turner and George Harding.

He added: ‘Our opponents got off to a bit of a flyer but then our two spinners pinned them down.

‘First they slowed the scoring rate and then wickets began to fall.’