Old Tauntonians and Romsey had a dream weekend as they retained their unbeaten record in the Southern Electric Premier League Division Three whilst their rivals suffered defeat.
It wasn’t straightforward for OT’s whose win over Fareham and Crofton was secured by just three runs but with their nearest rivals United Services Portsmouth and previously unbeaten Sarisbury Athletic both defeated, it made it a very satisfying weekend.
On a hot and sultry afternoon Jody Brown chose to bat first after winning the toss,.
Despite losing Gus Flack with the score on 20 the Romsey side made a good start with Danny Mills and Brown sharing a half-century stand for the second wicket.
The fall of Brown's wicket brought about a mini-collapse as Mills fell for 37 after hitting five fours, then the usually prolific Max Smith went for a duck leaving the visitors tottering on 73-4.
Paul Longland didn't last long he hit a quick fire 13 (three fours) but a recovery of sorts was needed.
Charlie King and Stuart Shapland, pictured above, put on 30 before Shapland was controversially stumped for seven.
Wicket-keeper Keith Trodd then built some momentum. King played carefully waiting for the bad ball to dispense to the boundary whilst keeping the scoreboard moving with singles and twos.
Trodd meanwhile was advancing the score quicker and when the latter was finally caught for 37 the pair had brought the score to 197-7.
Danny Mogg fell for five runs, then Jon Dowling came to the front with some lusty hitting, his score of 33 was made off just 20 balls and included three fours and a huge six.
King was finally out for a well made 59 from 107 balls, with six fours and one six, and the innings ended with OTs 255-9.
“A much better score than it looked likely at one time,” said skipper Brown.
Fareham and Crofton made a good start in their quest to chase down the visitors’ target.
Luke Gould and Gary Wylde opened with 73 in just 12 overs before Dowling struck forcing Wylde into a pull that was well held at mid-off by Brown.
The second wicket also fell at 73, Gould caught by Stuart Shapland off Dowling.
The partnership of the innings between Kevin Light and Brent Jarvis-Spinks put together 97 in 21 overs.
Jarvis-Spinks was particularly punishing on the bowlers and it took a quick brilliant throw from the deep way out at long-off by Shapland to run him out.
Wickets were falling at steady intervals as the score inched towards the winning target.
Shapland then took charge with the ball as he removed two Fareham batsmen with Danny Mills picking up the vital wicket of the Fareham captain Marchant for eight.
Shapland then took three wickets in one over as tension mounted.
He had collected five wickets for 45, his first five wicket haul in the Southern League for OTs.
When Marchant was out at 244-9, 12 runs were still needed to inflict the first season’s defeat on the local club.
Craig Durant struck a boundary to have the home side ecstatic, but up stepped Danny Mogg to bowl him and give his side an exciting three run win.