Langley Manor saved themselves from relegation – and scuppered Sparsholt’s promotion hopes, all in the space of a 114-run win, writes Mike Vimpany.
The Manor hauled themselves out of the Division 2 drop zone and gave Hartley Wintney the green light to pass Sparsholt and grab the runners-up spot behind champions Rowledge.
Langley simply had to win at the Norman Edwards Ground to overtake Havant II and secure their safety.
They did it largely on the back of the in-form Connor Browne (65) and Jack Budd (34), whose healthy opening stand gave Stevie Harris (50) licence to hit a half-century to help the Manor reach 215-9 (David Gough 4-38).
Sparsholt’s batting crumbled to a miserable 101 all out – New Zealander Hamish Blomfield taking 4-20 – to dump the Winchester club into fifth place. The result means that Rowledge and Hartley Wintney, the two clubs relegated in 2013, have done a U-turn and are promoted back up again.
Champions Rowledge chased down a modest 135 (Stewart Magee 44) by Rowledge – but it wasn’t all plain sailing. Rowledge were 71-5 after Anthony Richman finished his 3-26 spell, but Chris Yates (42) and Richard Forbes (32) produced a half-century stand to turn the tide.
Hartley Wintney seized their chance and, with Danny Plume (59), Ari Karvelas (44) and Richard Hill (37) to the fore, ran up 244 against already relegated Totton & Eling II.
Nigel Bungay (68) hit back and on the back of some handy late order contributions reached 198 all out.
Calmore Sports bagged third place after inflicting a first defeat in six games for Old Tauntonians & Romsey.
Going nicely at 101-2 through Mark Lavelle (36) and Ben Johns (25), Calmore collapsed to 159-9, with Ben Perry hitting 41 not out.
Mike West’s mid-innings spell of 4-22 disrupted OTs, who fell from a positive 113-3 to 150 all out.
OTs were also going well through Rob Newman (55) and Gus Flack (34), but the combination of West and teenager Tom Pattison (3-5) sent the wickets tumbling.