Alton’s first team fell to a 98-run defeat at home to Totton & Eling in the Southern Premier Cricket League Premier Division on Saturday.
The home side will feel like they missed an opportunity after restricting Totton to 243 all out after a fast start at the Jubilee Playing Fields, but the Brewers’ batting failed to fire.
The home side elected to bowl, hoping to make early inroads into Totton’s line-up, but Zimbabwean opener Bothwell Chapungu was aggressive and hit the ball sweetly to set them off in positive fashion.
Chapungu was joined by Harry Stephens, and the pair continued to play positively, scoring at more than five an over against the hard white ball.
It took a fine bit of work in the field from Freddie Egleston to remove Chapungu, as he stretched to stop a drive from Stephens, and his throw was collected by Tom South to remove the dangerous non-striker Chapungu for a well-made 39.
Josh Elliot continued where Chapunga left off, and Totton continued to tick the scoreboard over as they advanced towards the 150 mark, leaving Alton looking at conceding a large total in the May sunshine.
However, off-spinner Dan Sumner (two for 59) removed Elliot (43) and Stephens (45) to get Alton back into the game.
Skipper Scott Myers brought the seamers back on, and Tom Varney (two for 52) and Walters (two for 38) took a wicket apiece to have Totton 173 for six.
Totton’s lower order continued to chip away though, and Billy Blyghton (21) and Josh Taylor (34) had nearly added another 50 before both were removed by left-arm spinner South (three for 37).
He and Varney took the final wickets of the innings, leaving Alton happy that they had restricted Totton to 243 with a good pitch and quick outfield.
Alton immediately lost South to a slip catch off Sam Beer (one for 22), before Dan Harris struck some beautiful boundaries to get the scoreboard moving.
However, he was caught behind off Alex Adlam (one for 26) before Egleston was removed for 12, with the score now 50 for three.
The Brewers continued to lose wickets at regular intervals, as Alton’s batters made starts but could not continue to make significant scores.
Sam Ruffell (23), Michael Heffernan (eight) and Mark Heffernan (17) all came and went, while Myers looked on forlornly at the other end.
That was to get worse for Alton as they proceeded to lose three more batters for no further score as they lurched to 109 for nine. Spinners Brighton Mugochi (three for 33) and Joe Bracey (three for 48) were the men to benefit from Alton’s profligacy.
Myers was finally supported by last man Varney, and he struck the ball freely to show the other batters how it could have been done.
Myers made the top score of the game, finishing on 55 not out as Varney was last man out – leaving Alton to rue a missed opportunity.
The Brewers will hope for a much-improved performance tomorrow (Saturday) as the format changes to the timed games, with an early start for the road trip to Bournemouth (11am start).