JAMES Lovegrove and Michael Deller-Merricks starred with the bat as AWE Tadley recorded a compre-hensive 156-run victory over local rivals Hobos.

Lovegrove smashed his way to 94, while Deller-Merricks hit 73 as visiting AWE reached 261-4 before bowling Hobos out for just 105 to get their Hampshire Cricket League County Division Four North campaign off to a winning start.

Hook and Newnham Basics II suffered a narrow defeat in their first County Division One outing of the season, going down by nine runs at home to Locks Heath.

Kishore Parmer took 4-51 as Locks Heath made 237-9 and while Sam Bruin hit 52 in the Hook reply, they were restricted to 228-9.

Both north Hampshire sides in County Division Two also lost.

Old Basing went down by four wickets away at Highfield, while Basingstoke and North Hants III lost by seven wickets on their travels at Burridge.

Dan Belcher hit 68 as Old Basing reached 241-8, and, while Matt Donaldson took 4-31 in the Highfield reply, they got home with six wickets down.

Basingstoke were unable to defend their total of 164-6.

Richard Osman’s century was in vain as Whitchurch lost their local derby at Overton in County Division Three North. Osman smashed an unbeaten 104 as Whitchurch reached 195-8, but Andy Galvin guided the hosts to victory by just one wicket, ending on 64 not out.

Hartley Wintney II produced a good all-round performance to beat visiting Steeple Langford by 94 runs. Paul Westfoot made 56 and Rex Porter 50 as Hartley reached 223-8, while James Clode took 4-32 and Jamie Harrington 4-35 as the visitors were bowled out for 129.

Hook and Newnham Basics III lost by one wicket at home to Michelmersh and Timsbury. The hosts were 25-6 at one stage but recovered to post 123.

That was almost enough, with Dave Batchelor taking 4-27, but Michelmersh’s final pair saw them over the line.