United Services go down in last-ball battle

James Marshall had an eventful match for United Services
James Marshall had an eventful match for United Services
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Lee Carroll insists being on the wrong end of a tight tussle in United Services’ opener will have no bearing on their Southern Electric Premier League division three campaign.

The visitors went down by just two runs at Tichborne Park in a thrilling contest.

The clash went right down to the wire as James Marshall (31) was run out off the final delivery of the game.

But Carroll remains positive about his side’s performance and was not left too despondent.

The United Services skipper said: ‘It’s funny because sometimes you would rather lose by six wickets than lose by two runs.

‘But nobody was too down afterwards.

‘We were disappointed to lose in a close game but there were a lot of positives.

‘Hopefully we can take that into next week and kick on because it was a good effort.

‘Tichborne made a superb effort to get the game on.

‘They couldn’t have done any better to produce the wicket that they did and it was a cracking game.’

Carroll made the expected decision to invite the hosts to bat first after winning the toss.

And when Marshall (three for 47) cleaned up opener Michael Butler with the first ball of the match, Tichborne struggled to 38 for three and 70 for five.

But Jack Skinner (53 not out) then helped his side to 190 for eight – a total Carroll felt was aided by some wayward bowling.

He said: ‘We stuck them in and got three early wickets but they got themselves back into it well.

‘They accelerated in the last 10 overs and that gave them some momentum.

‘But we probably let them have 20 runs too many.

‘We didn’t bowl too badly but gave away 20 wides and we need to work on that.’

In reply, the visitors looked in good shape, edging themselves along to 112 for two as Damian Carson (44) and Richard Marshall (36) hung in there in the face of tricky batting conditions.

But with Services faltering in their chase, Carroll’s bold attempt to boost the run-rate failed to pay off as the game entered the closing stages.

He said: ‘We got off to a half-decent start and were looking pretty good.

‘But we then lost four really cheap wickets.

‘We were getting behind in the run-rate, so we tweaked the batting order a bit and tried to get a big over or two.

‘We thought someone might whack us a quick 20 but it didn’t really happen.’

Marshall, however, got the team to within 12 runs with one over to go.

But despite his best efforts, Services came up just short of their target – closing on 188 all out.