OLD Tauntonians and Romsey’s first team got off to a winning start in the Southern Electric Premier League against St Cross Symondians II at the Romsey Sports Centre on Saturday.

St Cross won the toss and, after a delayed start due to damp conditions, struggled against tight bowling from openers Steve Smith and Dan Mogg who both claimed an early wicket.

Alan Whitman and Chris Marlow recovered the Winchester side’s innings for a while, albeit slowly.

Whitman fell one short of a half-century as he was caught and bowled by Jon Dowling. Marlow and Tom Foyle were the only batsmen to make their mark.

Mogg produced superb figures, a Southern League best for him, of 4 for 14 in 8.1 overs. Foyle was well stumped by young Rob Newman off the bowling of Stuart Shapland.

But the final score of 143 all out was good under the conditions.

The home batsmen also struggled on the damp pitch. They lost Nick Destefano at 12, and Danny Mills at 41.

Gus Flack, after a quick 24, fell at 53 and quick dismissals of skipper Jody Brown and Paul Longland left them on 76 for 5.

Charlie King and Shapland however steadied the innings. King hit a circumspect 10 not out but Shapland a match winning 46 not out.

“It was great to start with a win,” said skipper Brown, “we had injuries in particular Max Smith, and a couple of players unavailable, but we entertain Tichborne Park this week with some confidence.”

After weeks of preparations play got underway for all four OTs and Romsey sides despite heavy rain the previous day which meant matches up and down the country were called off early.

The second XI had an amazing win at Hartley Wintney’s picturesque ground against the Berkshire side’s second XI in Hampshire League County Division 3.

Stuart Tulk may have been regretting asking the home side to bat as theylost their first wicket at 147.

Dave Arnold (98) and Colin Jolley (78) set up the start, then Jon Rowe smashed three fours and six sixes as Hartley amassed 296 for 4 in their 45 overs.

The OTs bowlers could not stem the tide, only Nick Wood bowling a steady line as the ball was hit to all parts.

Facing a tough target OT’s lost George Eldridge and Jon Whytehead for 21, then Pete Biddlecombe fell at 47.

Steve Kay and Mike Trodd then shared a 74-run partnership before Kay was trapped lbw for an innings of 59 that included nine fours and a six.

At 184-6 it was still a big ask, but Trodd struck nine fours and seven sixes in his 98 to leave OTs at 257 for 8 with 40 runs were still required.

Skipper Stuart Tulk and spin bowler Phil Wyatt carried on the good work and 17 was needed with two overs to go when Wyatt hit a big six into the bushes and followed next ball with an ever bigger shot.

It made the task of scoring four in the last over much easier and the incredible game was won with two balls remaining.

This Saturday the 2nds are on their travels again, this time to Pylewell Park.

The third team playing Amport Second XI at Hunts Farm faced a challenging total of 234 for 5.

OT’s started slowly and lost two early wickets but Dave Service and Dave Brown compiled a third wicket partnership of 102. Brown played on for 42 while Service continued his good form from the previous week, top scoring with 85 from 103 balls, including eight fours and six sixes. Ash Kumar nearly pulled off a win for OT’s with a brisk 35 from 27 balls but they finished three runs short.

With many players unavailable the Academy side struggled to field a full side and were well beaten by eight wickets at Sway Second XI.

Stuart Wood batted for over 100 balls for 26 and young Peter Newman top scored with 28 in a total of 116 all out. Newman and Jack Salter each took a wicket.

The Sunday XI, despite 56 from George Eldridge and 48 by captain Rob Newman, could not stop Cadnam winning by seven wickets. The New Forest side scored 152 for 3 in reply to 151 for 7.