HOOK seconds lie just two points above the Southern Premier Division 2 drop zone after a four-wicket defeat by Fair Oak, who chased down 157 to win.

Early on there were few clouds on the horizon for Hook, who made it to 67 for one thanks to Joe Allnutt (20) and Tom May. But May’s 48 turned out to be the highest score of the innings.

READ MORE: Hook lose to South Wilts despite valiant effort from debutant Rupes Armstrong

After that early promise basics subsided, with only Hampshire U15 prospect Alex Corbett (29) and Liam Doran (19) making any impression in the middle of the innings. The wiles of Oaks spin bowlers Rhys Oxley, who took four for 21, and Gregor McKenzie (two for 33) accounted for Hook’s decline from 129 for four to 157 all out in 41.2 overs.

Fair Oak needed a good start of their own, and got one through Harry Reed (20) and new boy Henry Nicholls (43), who took the visitors to 89 for one  Three wickets from spinner Will Gardner created a few ripples, but Sam Reed’s decisive contribution of 56 from 58 balls put Oaks within sight of victory. They took only 33.1 overs to reach the target at 160 for six, running out winners by four wickets.

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