HAMBLEDON completed a quick-fire league and cup double over Tichborne Park with a confident 122-run win on Saturday.
The crucial Southern League division two followed soon after Hambledon knocked the same opponents out of the National Village Cup.
Visiting captain Will Bond reckons it was the best display yet from his side this summer.
‘It was pretty much a complete performance,’ said Bond.
‘In conditions that suited the bowlers we counter-attacked to get on top and then made sure we stayed there.
‘We made a solid start and then our South African Shane (Nkomo) showed what a class act he is with his maiden century for the club.
‘It is his second season with us and he works incredibly hard on the technical side of his batting.’
George Marshall (52) and Bond (31) put on 50 for the first wicket before Nkomo (110 not out) weighed in with his match-winning innings.
Hambledon set their hosts a target of 267 for five and opened the bowling with off-spinner James Atkinson.
The plan of taking the pace off the ball paid dividends as Atkinson (three for 16) and Rhidian Chapman (four for 40) led the visitors to victory.
‘We knew Tichborne like to go hard from the off and their overseas player smashed 60 off 30 balls,’ said Bond.
‘However, James (Atkinson) bowled a fantastic spell where his first three overs were wicket maidens.
‘When we play like this we are difficult to beat.’
In form Gosport Borough chalked up a third successive win with an 18-run success against previously unbeaten division three league-leaders Basingstoke & North Hants II at Privett Park.
New Zealander Michael Ruffell (53) proved the mainstay of the hosts’ innings on a difficult track.
Borough wicket-keeper Greg Kitchen praised the Kiwi’s efforts.
‘The wicket was a bit spicy with the ball tending to pop up off a length,’ said Kitchen.
‘He ground out a good innings and allowed others to bat around him.’
When the visitors threatened to overhaul the 171-run target, Alex Styles (three for 25) and skipper Tom Larner (two for 23) took important wickets.
Waterlooville’s game against Langley Manor was abandoned with no play.