Petersfield’s 2nd XI beat the rain on Saturday to play at Emsworth - but were thrashed by ten wickets.

The toss was won by Petersfield captain Steve Gibson, who elected to bat first. With the weather improving they had reason for optimism.

That was soon snuffed out. Openers Tom Horwood (four) and Jake Hastie (four) were put under considerable early pressure, with Emsworth seamers Webb (three for eight) and Watson (three for 36) demonstrating excellent control at decent pace.

They extracted swing from the overcast conditions, deviation from the seam and a challenging tennis ball bounce from the damp surface.

After a short rain delay three overs in, the first to fall was Hastie, playing for a little more in-swing from a Watson delivery than came to fruition, resulting in only two stumps remaining standing.

This brought captain Steve Gibson (nought) to the crease, who was undone early by one that stopped in the pitch a little from Watson, with the ball clipped gently to the waiting midwicket fielder.

The incoming James Longland immediately looked more at home, crunching his first ball through the covers off the front foot.

But Horwood was then removed by one from Webb that leapt off a length and caught his glove on the way through to the wicketkeeper.

Ned Kelly (nought) came and went in the space of one delivery, caught off the bowling of Webb to leave the Emsworth quick on a hat-trick.

Petersfield number six Rich Stephens (nought) survived the hat-trick ball but was next back around the revolving door, chipping one up in the air from Webb for the fielder at cover to take the simplest of catches.

With the score at 12 for five Petersfield were in deep trouble. Suraj Sahidharan (one) was removed in short order off the bowling of O’Brien (three for 21).

This brought Georgie Russell (four) to the crease and she provided stout support to Longland, who went powerfully about his business and launched a counter-attack with a series of sixes, pouncing on anything short of a length in particular.

With Longland defying the challenges faced by the other Petersfield players, Russell defended well before eventually looking to hit one down the ground and being caught above the head of the mid-off fielder from the bowling of O’Brien. The score of 45 for seven soon became 45 for eight, with Leo Klemm back foot blocking the ball straight up in the air to be caught and bowled, O’Brien claiming his third scalp.

Rob Allerston was soon removed by the returning Watson for his third and final victim. This brought youngster Fraser Ansty (four) to the crease for his 2nd XI debut, and Longland really took the attack to Emsworth, bringing up a very impressive 50 - his second league 50 of the season - with a firmly struck boundary.

Ansty played a couple of nice shots on his way to becoming joint second-top scorer, but was eventually trapped plumb in front off the bowling of Gisbourne (one for three) at the end of his first and only over, leaving Longland 62 not out and Petersfield dismissed for a mere 84.

Emsworth openers Needham (52 not out) and Wellard (35 not out) walked out to bat and looked as if they were batting on a different surface to the damp one that undid Petersfield’s top order, with Needham crunching the first ball of the innings from Steve Gibson (none for 27) for four through the covers.

Rob Allerston (none for 17) at the other end operated with control but did not look like troubling the Emsworth openers, who settled very quickly into their work.

After ten overs Gibson brought on the off-spin of Tom Horwood (none for 17) and the seam of Georgie Russell (none for 28). Both bowled well but ultimately struggled to really worry the set batsmen.

Emsworth made light work of the chase, with Wellard completing the ten-wicket rout by hitting Russell for six.

On a very challenging afternoon for the team, credit has to go to James Longland for his excellent 62 not out against a robust Emsworth bowling attack on a tough pitch that proved too much for all of those Petersfield players around him.