Services triumph but Waltham remain bullish in title race

Dan Wheeler. Picture: Allan Hutchings (142218-563)
Dan Wheeler. Picture: Allan Hutchings (142218-563)
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Bishop’s Waltham suffered a last-over defeat against their Hampshire League division two title rivals United Services at Albany Road.

Chasing the home side’s 175 for seven, Services sneaked home by two wickets with two balls to spare.

Despite the defeat, Waltham captain Dan Wheeler believes his team can still go on and be promoted as champions.

And he has backed Matt Easton’s Services to join them in the top tier next season.

‘We are still top of the league and need just one win to guarantee promotion,’ he said.

‘Two wins will give us the league title.

‘This was a terrific contest between the two best teams in our division and played in a terrific spirit.

‘I always felt we were 25 runs short of what was needed.

‘Both of us will, hopefully, get promoted.’

Waltham decided to bat after winning the toss.

But they struggled against some tight United Services bowling.

All the top order batsmen made good starts but failed 
to convert them into big scores.

Sam Medhurst (34) and Michael Barrett (33) top scored for the hosts, while skipper Easton (three for 31) and Harry Gadd (two for 34) were the pick of the Services bowlers.

In reply, Sam Malinson (77) produced a match-winning innings for Services and he was ably supported by Yashan Akila (33).

In a tight finish, Fraser Quirke and Adam Joy saw the visitors over the finishing line.

Also in division two, Shaun Harris (102) and Alex Cox (six for 29) guided Bedhampton to a 49-run win over Rowledge at Bidbury Mead.

And Dominic Carson hit an unbeaten 56 to fire Petersfield to a four-wicket success against Liphook & Ripsley.

In division one, Ben Kissane (55) continued his good form as Fareham & Crofton crafted an excellent three-wicket win at Hook & Newnham Basics II.

Joe Houlton (56 not out) was the star man for Burridge II in their six-wicket win at New Milton II.

Portsmouth & Southsea proved too strong for Sarisbury Athletic II as they cruised to a nine-wicket win at St James’ Hospital.

The home side had few problems chasing down 133 for glory with Steve Clements (59 not out) and Matt Smith (53) leading the way.

Purbrook slipped to a disappointing seven-wicket defeat at relegation battling Ventnor II.