Despite the best efforts of a wet winter, cricket broke out on schedule at Longparish last weekend. In the opening tie of the season, a friendly with Southampton-based Peartree, Scott Sturt hit 30 at the top of the order and Martin Savage a fast 50 as Longparish posted 230 from their 40 overs.
The Peartree reply remained on the rate throughout, but tight bowling by Christian Dawson and an athletic display behind the stumps from Dan Bearpark secured an exciting one run win for Longparish. The following day Longparish entertained neighbours Hurstbourne Priors and started well. William de Cani and Harry Martin put on 80 before de Cani retired for a 50 riddled with rust. Charles Spinks bowled well for Hurstbourne and ripped through the Longparish middle order despite Harry Martin’s 45.
Hurstbourne skipper Jon Hopkinson took two quick wickets as Longparish were all out for 164. Ashok Nautiyal hit an impressive 50 at the top of the Hurstbourne batting order and Ollie Coetzee, Harry Samways, Ben Gardner and Martin all bowled superbly but could not prevent Hurstbourne securing a two wicket win with four balls remaining.
The next ten days sees the Longparish senior sides take on Amport and Collingbourne in friendly fixtures, before the season starts proper with a home tie in the National Village Knockout competition against Thames Valley League side Eversley on April 27.
After a successful season indoors the Longparish Colts sides have emerged kicking and bucking into sunshine and will be playing several friendly fixtures in the coming weeks before the Winchester and District League campaigns get underway at the end of the month.