HOOK and Newnham Basics made sure of promotion to the Southern League Division Three after finishing second in the Hampshire League County Division One, as they thumped visiting Ropley by a massive 245-runs.

Home skipper Kev Light won the toss and elected to bat and openers Harry Warner and Luke Simpson made a steady start putting on 58 for the first wicket.

They were parted in the 10th over and this brought Matt Buckingham to the centre and talosng with Warner they proceeded to share an unbeaten stand worth 265 runs.

Warner finished not out on 100 from 109 balls which included 10 fours, Buckingham was unbeaten on 165 from 88 balls and he hit the boundary rope 21 times and cleared it seven times.

In reply, visiting Ropley were soon reduced to 45-5, thanks to Martyn James (3-32) and Ryan Connor (2-21). This included top scorer former Hampshire star Shaun Udal (22). Josh Balcombe (3-11) and Will Gardner (1-11) then finished the job off as Ropley were all out for 78.

A delighted captain Kev Light said: “I am so pleased as County One is such a difficult league to get out of and we have shown signs over the last four years by finishing fourth and fifth that we could do it. We now look forward to playing in the Southern League and also a local derby against Basingstoke II.”

Light added: “The start to our season beating both Parley and Gosport was key and gave us belief this could be our season.

“The young lads in the team in particular Josh Balcombe with 24 wickets, Will Gardner with 16 wickets have contributed massively as apart from two teams we have bowled all of our opponents out.

“The experience of Ben Allnutt, Sam Bruin, Kish Parmar, myself and the odd appearance from the evergreen Colin Lye has created the right mix for a really competitive team.

“We also have some very good youngsters coming through our third team who will make an impact next year in the Southern League.

“The success this club has had this year is phenomenal and built on the hard work of so many volunteers such as the chairman Keith Lovelock, the president Tim Sutcliffe, tea ladies and men, scorers and the ground staff who prepare a fantastic wicket every week.

“All this success makes the hard work worthwhile. A lot of clubs could learn from how Hook and Newham Basics go about its business on and off the field."

Hook thirds finished ninth in the Division Three North after losing by 110 runs to Sparsholt IIs . Haig Franklin batting at number 10 scored 43 not out in their 157.

Hook (180) fourths came 11th in Division Four North after they beat Ashford Hill who came fifth by 84 runs