Title front runners tag fits OTs nicely

First published in Hampshire Sport

Old Tauntonians & Romsey continued their winning ways in Southern Electric Premier League Division Three with a fifth straight win.

This time it was Fawley who were swept aside, with OTs recording a comfortable 106-run win.

Keith Trodd, captaining the side in the absence of Jody Brown, won an important toss and put his side into bat.

Despite losing two early wickets, with Danny Mills and Gus Flack back in the pavilion, in- form Nick Destefano and the returning Max Smith, built a good partnership in recovery. Smith struck 25 before he was caught and Destefano battled through to 47 before being caught and bowled by Wayne Smith.

Paul Longland (25) and Charlie King followed these dismissals with a hurried partnership, but the innings was boosted with an undefeated stand of 92 between Trodd (50) and Dan Mogg, who hit a Southern League best of 36, to take OTs to 255-6.

Fawley started well before losing their first wicket at 45 when Steve Smith had Tom Gates trapped leg before wicket.

Andy Parratt (62) was caught by Max Smith off the bowling of Jon Dowling, and Dowling then dismissed Afzal caught and bowled.

Wickets then began to tumble as the home side found spinners Charlie King (3-32) and Danny Mills (2-10) too hot to handle, and Max Smith polished off the tail to leave Fawley all out for 149 with some 14 overs remaining.

Romsey’s second XI fell to five-wicket defeat at the hands of Longparish.

Batting first, Romsey lost Ian Tulk early on, but young stars Rob Newman and George Eldridge posted 83 runs for the second wicket before Eldridge was caught in the deep for 43 Newman fell in a similar manner for 62, but, despite, Pete Biddlecombe’s 24, the rest of the Romsey order failed to fire and they were dismissed for 190.

Steve Kay (2-31) claimed two early wickets in reply, but Will de Cani swung the momentum back to ’Parish.

When he was dismissed with the score at 100-4, Romsey thought they had a chance, but veteran Ross Stewart partnered by Matt Jackman had other ideas and the pair guided Longparish home.

Romsey’s thirds recorded an easy win over bottom-of-the-table Broughton.

Two early wickets for Nathan Baker got Romsey off to a great start, but Broughton’s father-son duo of Andy and Joe Lydeard combined to offer some resistance.

They added 71 for the third wicket before Joe was well caught for 24 by Rob Peters off the bowling of Roji Aujla, who once again starred with the ball taking 5-29 in his nine over spell.

Andy Lydeard went on to top score with 53 and Dave Service chipped in with a couple of wickets towards the end as Broughton were flushed out for 106.

Ash Kumar and Nathan Baker went off in a hurry and had added 46 in just five overs before Baker was bowled for 27.

Kumar finished on 48 not out from just 29 balls to steer OT’s home by eight wickets and earn maximum points.

OTs’ fourth team found Parley thirds too strong as they tumbled to a 120-run defeat.

Lewis Smith (4-48) was the pick of the bowlers when Parley chose to bat, with Peter Newman taking a pair and Max Costley and Cameron Melling collecting a wicket each.

The final total of 222-8 was a strong one and wickets tumbled early on, three going down for 12 runs as OTs were immediately on the back foot.

Jack Salter (16), Dan Collins (22) and Max Costley (29) were the mainstay of the innings as they were all out for 102.

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