BASINGSTOKE and North Hants hopes of promotion for the second season running, looked to have been ended, as they lost at Liphook and Ripsley by 27 runs on Saturday.
This was the Bountymen’s first away loss and only their third in total in this season’s Southern League Division One.
However, leaders New Milton maintained their perfect record by winning the top-of-the-table clash with Sarisbury Athletic, and so they are three wins up on Basingstoke with five games to play.
Basingstoke drafted in Richard Vinn and Bradley Neal to replace the unavailable Craig Williamson and Patrick Joseph for the trip to Liphook.
The home side won the toss and decided to bat, with opener Ryan Covey the star with a fine innings of 69.
He shared an opening stand of 71 with Ben Ungaretti (20), but the runs then slowed down with only Suman Ganguly (48) able to trouble the bowlers.
Spin twins Matt Thankachan (5-46) and Dave Pistorius (3-41) led the fight back, while Dan King bowled tightly returning 0-12 from the teenager’s maximum seven overs.
The home side were eventually bowled out for 194 in the 49th over.
The Basingstoke reply never really got going as the top five made 55 between them.
Lawrence Benge (33) top scored with Matt Thankachan (30) the only other notable knocks, as extras top scored with 40 as the Bountymen were bowled out for 167.
Basingstoke’s second team slipped out the promotion places in Division Three, after they suffered a seven wicket loss at home to Bashley (Rydal) II.
The home side won the toss and elected to bat at May’s Bounty, but soon came to regret the decision, as they slumped to 47-5.
Top scorer Sam Trinder (21) and Rakitha Perera (20) made sure the side reached three figures, as they were all out for 112.
A half century from Phil Morris (55) secured victory for the visitors as Chris Chandler (3-47) took all the wickets.
This weekend, the first team are at home to Bournemouth, while the seconds are away at Alton II.