Hursley earn full Marks

Easton & MW (221 for 5) lost to Hursley Park (222 for 7) by 3 wickets

Hursley Park belatedly started their 2004 Premier 2 campaign with a thrilling last ball victory over local rivals Easton & Martyr Worthy.

Despite the all-round efforts of Shaun Green, whose 87 not out and 5-41 return looked to have placed Easton in command, a late blitz saw the visitors home.

Adie Aymes won the toss, and the new-look Hursley side took the field. Stu Marks made the initial breakthrough by trapping Kevin Neave in front, but Dave Birch and Shaun Green steadied the innings and progressed smoothly until Birch drove the ball straight to Paul Edwards for 40.

Two wickets then fell cheaply. Ashley Spencer went next, a victim of a caught-and-bowled by Martin Taylor, and Andy Birch fell to a smart stumping by Ben Smyth.

At this point Easton were 118 for 4 after 38 overs and looking for a total of 180, but Steve Green then joined his brother and, having been dropped early on, proceeded to despatch the bowling to all parts as the game swung decisively in Easton's direction.

The two brothers added 97 in just 74 balls with Steve hitting 56 in 39 balls, including five fours and three sixes. Shaun remained undefeated on 87 after an immaculate display lasting almost the whole innings.

The total of 221 for 5 looked imposing, but with Hursley's depth of batting, attainable.

Adi Aymes and Adrian Small started the Hursley reply in confident fashion, scoring at over four an over before Aymes was trapped in front. 47 for 1 became 66 for 3 as Shaun Green and Andy Birch proved more difficult to score from than the opening bowlers. Paul Marks played on and Small (31) was caught at point as Easton took the upper hand.

A period of rebuilding ensued as Paul Edwards and Jimmy Taylor added 58. Edwards was content to give the strike to Taylor, who greeted Steve Green with a huge six over mid wicket. He eventually fell for 33, but the tempo was increased by Chris Wheeler, who hit three sixes in a cameo 27.

At the other end Edwards reached his half century but the returning Shaun Green trapped him in front for exactly 50. He had provided the necessary foil at one end while the assault came from the other.

With 25 more runs needed off the remaining three overs the unorthodox strokeplay of Stuart Marks (34no) edged Hursley ever closer. Benefiting from dropped chances and some sloppy fielding, he took 14 from Shaun Green's last over and five were required from the last. Two singles from the first four balls had everyone on tenterhooks, but a scrambled two saw the scores tied with one ball to go. Andy Marks held his nerve and hit the ball over the in field for an exciting and tense last ball victory.

Hursley Park II lost by 39 runs at home to Fawley in Hampshire County Division 2.

An opening stand of 135 put Fawley in a strong position, but Hursley did well to contain the final total to 218 for 7 with Tom Burns the pick of the bowling with 3-42.

In reply Hursley also started well, with Nick Best (59) and Rory Miller (34) also sharing a century opening stand.

But the rest of the batting failed to capitalise on the good start with only Paul Davies (34) making any telling contribution. The home side were dismissed for 179; Smith took 8-44.