BASINGSTOKE and North Hants’ relegation fears continue to mount after they lost at reigning champions St Cross by eight wickets on Saturday.

The visitors travelled to Winchester hoping to chalk up their first league double of the season but were soon in trouble after winning the toss and deciding to bat.

St Cross paceman Marvin Williams proceeded to dismantle the top order on his way to 5-41.

Williams sent back Max Harsham, Brad Porteous and Jordan Hobday, the last two in the same over, as the visitors slid to 16-3 Fellow opening bowler Simon Beetham (2-24) then joined in as David Griffiths and Matt Deadman were both sent back to the pavilion in consecutive balls in the tenth over, with the score on 34.

Williams struck again to remove opener Keiron Wood for 17, the only batsman in the top six to make double figures.

This left the Bountymen on 43-6. At this point, Chris Jolley set about increasing the run rate scoring 31 in 25 balls, which saw him hit four fours and one six off Williams, before being bowled by Harry Came.

After his departure, the visitors enjoyed their best partnerships of the game thanks to Joe Oates and Ash Neal.

The pair added 66 for the eighth wicket, before Neal (16) was trapped leg before by Felix Organ.

Oates and Matt Thankachan moved the score past 150, as Oates recorded his maiden Southern League Premier Division half century.

The pair were then parted as Thankachan was run out by Tim Foyle.

In the end, Basingstoke were all out for 171 with Oates (63) the last man out, as Williams returned to the attack.

His excellent knock saw him hit seven fours in 98 balls.

The St Cross reply was rocked early on, as Jolley bowled Foyle with his first ball and Porteous then dismissed Max Curtis leaving the home side on 13-2.

However, that was as good as it got for the visitors as former Hook man and current Hampshire second XI star Harry Came (65) and Billy Mead (99) steered St Cross to an eight wicket victory.

On Thursday night, Basingstoke were beaten by Finchampstead in the final of the Don Lynch Aylward Cup final at Hartley Wintney.

The Bountymen won the toss and elected to bowl and Finch slumped to 56-5 from six eight ball overs.

However, Craig Hodges (69) supported by Scott Osler (31) and Billy Rogers (21) saw them recover to 168 all out.

Joe Oates (4-27) led the bowling attack with Ash Neal (2-30) and Brad Porteous (2-44) also amongst the wicket.

With the light fading the target for Basingstoke looked a daunting one and they were soon in trouble at 63-5.

In conditions not easy to bat in, they finished 56 runs short of their target.

Basingstoke are back in league action this Saturday, when they entertain leaders Bashley (Rydal).