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Champions-elect South Wilts given a scare by Lymington

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Southern Premier League Premier Division

South Wilts CC 288-8
Lymington CC 250

LYMINGTON'S weakened team gave likely champions South Wilts a tough torrid time and nearly won the game, eventually falling 38 runs short of a formidable total.

Despite Lymington having three first-teamers out, they picked up helpful bowling and batting points in their efforts to keep clear of a relegation flight, with Hook & Newnham Basics and Alton below them.

With the regular captain Matt Metcalfe missing, Terry Crabb assumed the role, and after winning the toss, he asked South Wilts to bat first.

Lymington's Josh Royan top-scored after being promoted to the first team
Lymington's Josh Royan top-scored after being promoted to the first team

The opposition got off to a solid start, with Tom Morton (36) and Jack Mynott (21) putting on 39 for the first wicket. But after falling to 99-3, the South Wilts batsmen regained the initiative as James Hayward (75), with some audacious leg-side sweeps, and keeper Ben Draper (64) put on 109 for the fourth wicket.

Hayward's innings eventually ended with Ximus du Plooy (2-38), who bowled tidily in his 10 over spell, having him caught by Ben Rogers.

Draper and new partner Raff Hussey (31) put on 69 runs for the fifth wicket before the Lymington bowlers enjoyed some success at the end of the innings as four wickets fell for seven runs to earn two more bowling points.

South Wilts finished their 50 overs innings on 288-8.

Lymington paceman Josh Proctor (2-58) took two wickets in two balls while Island spinner Dan Cox (3-67) consolidated his position as Lymington's leading wicket-taker. Second teamer Charlie Inglis (1-19) had keeper Luke Mortimore to thank for his wicket after a brilliant one-handed diving leg-side catch. Fellow second-teamer Jude Tollerfield (0-51) also bowled intelligently despite the best efforts of Hayward.

Compared with recent games, the Lymington batsmen were far more consistent. Openers Crabb and Rogers (21) got Lymington off to a blistering start, putting on 51 in just five overs before Crabb was out to opening bowler Ben Huntley (1-30). Crabb's excellent knock saw him reach 31 runs off 17 balls, with 30 coming from boundaries.

Rogers soon followed to fellow opener Matthew Burton (2-60).

Ryan Scott (17) was then joined by Lymington's leading scorer Du Plooy (55) as they put on 54 for the third wicket before Scott was out leg-before by Tom Grant (2-47).

Josh Royan (61), freshly promoted to the first team, and Du Plooy then shared a 46-run partnership before the dangerous South African was caught LBW by Stephen Warner (1-36), much to the relief of South Wilts. However, all was not lost with Royan batting well, taking the score to 229 with Josh Proctor (20). However, with the eventual loss of Royan to Jack Mynott (2-52), the hope of a remarkable victory faded with the last three wickets falling for two runs, with Arthur Godsall (2-23) helping to polish off the tail and Lymington finishing 38 runs short.

Lymington is next in action at home against relegation-threatened Hook & Newnham Basics on Saturday, knowing a win will go a long way to securing their premier division status.

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