Hursley Park 2nd XI v Alton XI
Played at the Quarters
Hampshire League Division 1
Won by 4 runs
2019 was proving a very successful season for the club, and while the 1s travelled to Bishop’s Stortford for a crucial Premier League game, the 2s were very much in contention for the Hampshire League title and hosting Alton, the only team to have beaten them in the season to date.
Alton won the toss and put us in, and Sarah Attrill and Becky Blake continued their form of the season, sharing another half-century opening partnership. After both were dismissed Hannah Saunders and Anya Ahl joined together for another successful alliance, adding 65 before a late flurry from Ellie Musson took us to 176-5 at the end of our 40 overs.
When Alton had defeated us earlier in the season it had been largely due to a century partnership by Hampshire under 17 batters Gemma Porter and Amelia Marshall, and these two were soon together again after we had taken a wicket in the first over. And once again they were on top of our bowlers, adding 137 to thwart skipper Amy Mistry’s attempts to split them by constantly changing the bowlers, and despite Nicole Beesley’s eight over spell yielding only eleven runs. With ten overs to go the visitors needed just 44 with nine-wickets in hand, and were seemingly cruising to victory. Our captain pulled off a run-out to dismiss Marshall and break the productive partnership, and when she then took a return catch to end Porter’s innings, having brought herself on as the ninth bowler, Alton were 150-3 with two new batters at the crease. Mistry was now in tandem with her most experienced bowler, Ellie.
Runs started to dry up as the depth of the visitors batting was put to the test and wickets also fell as the pressure mounted. The 1st X1, having finished their match, were receiving ball-by-ball updates as they crowded round a phone in the Bishop’s Stortford dressing room. Emily Mackenzie and Caroline Garratt took important catches and Mistry and Ellie finished with three wickets each as we clinched an unlikely 4 run win.
The victory placed us in pole position in County Division 1, but the following week saw us lose at Aldershot allowing Alton to regain top spot. Aldershot then obliged by also beating Alton, and victories against St.Cross and Cove in our last two games clinched the title, meaning that both our 1st and 2nd X1s had won their respective leagues. The Alton win was a great example of the team not giving up on a losing position, and showed a team spirit that reflected throughout the season.