Charlie keeps his cool to get Romsey over the line

Old Tauntonians and Romsey continued their winning ways in an exhilarating encounter with United Services (Portsmouth) in the Southern Electric Premier League Division III at the Romsey Sports Centre.

The Navy side won the toss and chose to bat first on a slow wicket that had been covered all week due to wet weather.

The choice proved fruitful at the start as prolific runscorer George Marshall took charge and, with his opening partner Damian Carson, set up a century opening stand.

The first wicket finally fell at 106 when Max Smith, now back to full fitness, bowled Carson for 33.

Then some sharp work by Danny Mills, followed by a nifty deflection by Max Smith, ran out Marshall for 62.

Two wickets had gone down for 111.

The collapse continued as Wayne Spencer was trapped lbw by Smith.

After a short respite, Smith was again amongst the wickets as he had Louis Russell bowled. Dominic Carson lost his wicket the same way soon after.

Dan Mogg joined in the action when James Marshall was stumped by acting captain Keith Trodd.

Smith completed his 10 over spell by bowling Reg Marshall to finish with 5-36.

That was the ninth time he had claimed five wickets or more for the club in the Southern League.

Mogg produced another unplayable delivery to bowl Dave Cox, and John Dowling had Fraser Quirke well caught by Nick Destefano.

After the start they received, US Portsmouth would have been disappointed with scoring 180, but their captain felt it was a defendable score.

The Navy men received an early fillip when, in the first over of the OTs reply, Dan Mills was adjudged lbw to Mark Stanley.

But in-form Nick Destefano put paid to their high hopes when he and Gus Flack built the innings up.

When Flack was out for 37, having hit three fours and two sixes, the score had reached 94.

Both Destefano (43) and Max Smith (3) fell soon after and the home side had the jitters as thoughts of their undefeated record going down the pan must have came into their minds.

Paul Longland also fell for just one followed soon after by Stuart Shapland, also for a single, as Dave Cox collected a four-wicket haul.

Charlie King is a young man who, having joined the club last season from Wellow, has grown in stature with a regular place in the 1st XI.

The faith put in him came to fruition at a vital stage.

With skipper Keith Trodd, they slowly built on the dismal score of 102-6.

Runs were still hard to find against tight bowling but OTs steadied themselves against the keen Portsmouth men.

With ten balls remaining they had brought the score to within ten of victory.

King then produced a superb cover drive that just beat the frantic diving fieldsman on the boundary, and followed this in the same over with a pull to the square leg boundary.

That left just two to win from the last over of the match.

This they duly achieved with three balls to spare, ending US’ unbeaten record in the process.

Sarisbury Athletic remain the only other side with a complete record in the division.

“It was really a tensioned packed match today with lots of appeals as we had to battle for every run,” said all-rounder Stuart Shapland.

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