New Milton CC lose low-scoring match after Ley leads Sparsholt home
Southern Premier League Division One
New Milton CC 80
Sparsholt CC 75-9
NEW Milton slipped to third in the league after a frustrating and low-scoring one-wicket loss to Sparsholt at their Fernhill Sports Ground home.
The hosts yet again lost an early wicket, continuing an unfortunate tradition that they will be very keen to end. This time, Ryan Beck made the long walk back to the pavilion after scoring two runs after facing just six balls, with New Milton feeling a sense of déjà vu at 2-1.
Joe Hall (21) and Campbell Golding (4) added 11 runs for the second wicket when teenage opening bowler Thomas Ley (2-15) bowled the latter. New Milton’s woes continued when Freddy Banks caught top-scorer Harlan Greig after scoring just four runs to leave the host languishing on 22-3.
Then, Hall and Toby Edwards (11) lost their wickets with the hosts on 56-5 before things, somehow, became even worse with the following three wickets of Beck, Jack Humprey (0) and Ed Bartlett (0) falling for a combined three runs.
George Watts (8) and Ed Wooster (6) were both bowled by Jeremy Frith (3-6) as New Milton’s innings finished on a lacklustre 80 runs.
Sparsholt appeared to be in complete control with 26 runs on the board, but three quick wickets for three runs inspired some belief in the New Milton attack.
Skipper George Watts (3-21) caught Dan Simner (3) and Josh May (0) leg before while Toby Edwards secured an intelligent run out of Ashley Collison (2) to make it 29-3.
Opener David Banks was in no mood to surrender, and together with Liam Doran (11), he added 19 runs for the fourth wicket when Watts caught him LBW on 27 runs.
Frith (0) followed five runs later, triggering a three-wicket collapse that saw Sparsholt in trouble at 59-7, with Greig (1-14) catching Frith leg before and Hall (4-12) dismissing Doran and Josh Williams (4).
Hall bowled Ollie Williams (0) and Freddy Banks (0), leaving the visitors needing five runs with one wicket left. However, Ley, who has taken 12 wickets in his maiden SPL season at Locks Lane, held his nerve to hit an unbeaten 19 and break New Milton hearts.