Easton calls for United front in wake of fifth loss

Tom May batting for United Services. Picture: Mick Young
Tom May batting for United Services. Picture: Mick Young
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United Services were left bemoaning their luck yet again as they suffered a last-ball defeat at Longparish in Hampshire League division one.

Services remain winless this season with captain Matt Easton scratching his head.

‘Our situation is frustrating and hard to understand,’ said the skipper.

‘We have found ourselves at the wrong end of four very close games.

‘Longparish needed two runs to win off the final ball and they edged it for four.

‘In our five games so far we have scored the best part of a thousand runs but not been able to get over the winning line.

‘We still have plenty to be positive about but we can’t keep losing games.

‘Maybe we need to switch on a bit more mentally and be sharper in the field.

‘Our luck has to change.’

Sam Mallinson (77), Tom May (60) and Shashika Jayasinghe (40) helped put the visitors in a strong position, setting their hosts a target of 271 to win.

Longparish got off to a flier in reply but Services soon began to make inroads.

A brief rain stoppage saw the target reduced to 238 off 44 overs and in the end the hosts did it with three wickets to spare.

Portsmouth & Southsea continued their fine start to the season with a 53-run win at Hythe & Dibden.

Jack Davies (70) and Matt Smith gave the visitors a rapid start – with 65 runs in the first 12 overs.

The brisk pace continued when Matt Benfield (89) joined Davies and they added a further 57 in eight overs.

Not to be outdone by his brother, Tom Benfield (47) also weighed in with valuable runs as the visitors closed on 291 for six.

A 100-run stand by the Hythe openers suggested there could be a tight finish.

But the introduction of Ben Saunders (four for 53) into the attack stopped them in their tracks.

Haider Khan (81) and Harry Barrett (42 not out) steered Bishop’s Waltham to 317 for six against Rowledge II.

The visitors fell 156 short with Sam Medhurst taking three for 26.

Fareham & Crofton beat bottom-side Sarisbury II by four wickets.