Alton lost by five wickets to St Cross Symondians in the ECB Southern Premier League.
Hampshire’s Felix Organ and Jack Bransgrove hit half-centuries as St Cross beat Alton with 20 balls to spare at Winchester’s Green Jackets Ground.
Alton recovered from a disastrous start, losing left-hand opener Tom South, caught behind first ball, and Hampshire prospect Fletcha Middleton with only three runs on the board.
The ever-reliable Abhay Gonella (31) dropped anchor and provided an ideal foil as Alton skipper Dan Harris made 73 before being run out. The pair added 118.
It was 16-year-old Winchester College student Callum Whillock who turned the tide.
Bowling his off-spin from the church end of the ground, he took three for 22, courtesy of two Ed Ellis stumpings and a catch which removed Gonella.
“He didn’t bowl a bad ball in his ten-over spell and was definitely the catalyst to Alton losing five wickets for 23 runs at that point,” Ellis said of the teenager who cut his teeth in St Cross cricket as an eight-year-old.
Ironically, it was another Winchester youngster, Freddie Egleston (41), who raised Alton’s spirits and their total – the 2019 college vice-captain helping lift the Brewers from 144 for seven to 216 all out, Joe Paul and Bash Walters providing handy support.
St Cross lost four wickets before their reply reached 100 – Joe Lewis being run out for 35 – but Felix Organ, who had earlier taken two late Alton scalps, steadied the ship and scored 60 (four sixes and four fours) in a match-deciding partnership with Jack Bransgrove, who went on a make an unbeaten 57.
Simon Beetham’s 25 not out helped secure the five-wicket win.