HARTLEY Wintney suffered a narrow four run defeat to a visiting Sparsholt in the opening game of their Southern League Division Two campaign.

Hartley’s new skipper Jamie Teale won the toss and put Sparsholt into bat and they were bowled out for 209.

Matt Digweed was the pick of the bowlers with 3-36 ahead of Chris Jolley (2-29).

In reply, Hartley reached 205-9 from their 50 overs with Danny Flanders their top scorer with 56.

He shared a third wicket partnership of 55 runs with Danny Plume (34) as the home side looked in good shape at 121-2.

Elsewhere in Division Two, Hook’s home game against New Milton was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

In Division Three, Basingstoke and North Hants’ second team were unable to emulate their first string as they lost by 72 runs to visiting St Cross Syms II.

Basingstoke skipper Chris Chandler won the toss at May’s Bounty and elected to field.

St Cross were then bowled out for 198 as Dan King took 4-31 and there was a brace of wickets from Jon Bradley and Chandler.

The home reply started well, but they slumped from 70-2 to 86-7 with opener Lee Nurse (40) top scoring and Steve Bucksey (23) the only other player to get above 20.