One more big win and Alton will seal promotion
Alton head into this week’s final round of Southern Premier League games with a slender two-point lead over Sarisbury Athletic at the top of the Division 1 table.
Both teams completed victories last Saturday, leaving the destination of the league title – and promotion to the premier division – very much up for grabs.
On paper, Alton have the tougher task this weekend, as they entertain Basingstoke at Jubilee at 12.30pm – while Sarisbury will play Liphook & Ripsley, the side beaten by Alton last Saturday.
Alton were seeking their sixth win on the bounce against Liphook and aiming for maximum points to keep themselves ahead of Sarisbury.
Conditions were set fair, Alton skipper Scott Myers won the toss and elected to bowl first.
Bash Walters opened up alongside Myers with the former making the early breakthrough when Rob Nicklin, a former Alton player, was trapped in front for five.
Myers then got in on the act as he took two for 26 as the visitors stumbled to 31 for three.
Zack Gadsby replaced Walters and he also picked up two wickets.
George Neave was looking to counter attack but he had no answer as Gadsby removed his middle stump. When he then had Jonathan Pryce caught at slip, Daniel Harris taking a good low catch, Liphook were wobbling at 69 for five.
Young opener Henry Amis was the only visiting batsman to really get set as he made it to 50 off 88 balls, but when he looked to attack the spin of Tom South he could only find Walters at mid wicket.
The score of 92 for six was soon 97 for seven as South captured his second wicket.
Jamie Hall made it to 22 before he was bamboozled by an Freddie Egleston delivery, the ball turning through the gate as the Brewers picked up their eighth wicket.
South then got his third – to end with fine figures of three for 19 – to leave Liphook teetering at 118 for nine.
Liphook made it to 130 before Walters finished proceedings, clean bowling Charles Janczur.
With Liphook making it past 125, Alton knew they needed to chase their target with no more than three wickets down to take maximum points.
Any nerves for the home side were eased as Abhay Gonella and Daniel Harris went about their business in confident fashion.
Gonella got off to a flyer, cleanly timing the ball as he made it to 50 off just 49 balls.
Harris finally found his flow as the pair put on 100 off just 93 balls.
Harris then made it to his 50 off just 47 balls before one shot too many saw Rob Nicklin bowl the Alton opener for 51 – but Alton were only 16 short of their target.
Nicklin did pick up another as he found the edge of Gadsby but Myers and Gonella safely saw the Brewers home as they completed victory by eight wickets.
Myers made ten not out with Gonella unbeaten on a fine 67 – and now the scene is set for this weekend.
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