Locks Heath’s hopes of breaking into the top three of Hampshire League division one were blown away in a 64-run defeat at the hands of Ellingham.
The unbeaten visitors adapted better to the damp and windy conditions at the Recreation Ground.
And home captain Jack Levy admitted his side were well beaten.
‘It was a cold, windy day – far from ideal for bowling and fielding,’ said Levy.
‘Ellingham coped with it far better than we did and maybe were more up for it.
‘They were chirpy and lively – looking as though they wanted it more than we did.
‘We didn’t bowl or field very well and when we batted soon found ourselves behind the required rate.
‘Ellingham bowled a lot tighter than us and we couldn’t break their grip on the game.’
Levy gambled after winning the toss by asking the visitors to bat first.
But opening bowlers Jack Paskins and Jamie Hill struggled in the wind.
Hill – back from holiday – failed to find his length and his misery was increased when he tweaked his back half way through his spell.
The wayward bowling enabled the visitors to get off to a good start.
And although Levy weighed in with three wickets, they reached 283 for nine.
‘On reflection, maybe I made the wrong choice,’ said the skipper.
‘When I went to the ground in the morning the wicket was sodden.
‘But before the rain returned towards the end of their innings it had dried out.
‘I still fancied our chances, though, because we bat right down the order with a couple of big hitters lower down.
‘Ellingham, though, bowled a lot better than we did in their opening 10 overs and pinned us down.
‘We fell behind the run-rate early on and were never able to recover.’
Openers Scott Jones and Ryan Smith started well in the first eight overs – before Jones departed courtesy of a contentious caught behind decision.
Alex Richardson and Mike Boyd both got into the 30s but continued to find themselves bogged down. Boyd never looked completely comfortable and was caught behind as he tried to accelerate the pace.
Levy gambled by moving potential match-winner Henry Potter up to number five.
But after hitting one boundary he found himself on his way back to the pavilion, clean bowled.
The experienced figure of Alex Adams (66) hit some vital runs batting at number seven. But with Locks Heath needing 10 runs an over off the last 10 overs – it proved a bridge too far.
‘We lost it in the opening 20 overs of our innings,’ said Levy.
‘Ellingham put us under pressure and we didn’t deal with it.
‘When we tried to break the grip we lost wickets.
‘We were beaten by the better side on the day.’