Alton Cricket Club’s first team fell to an eight-wicket defeat at Burridge in the Southern Premier Cricket League Premier Division on Saturday.
The Brewers travelled off the back of a morale-boosting victory at Havant, while Burridge were fresh from a convincing victory against Hampshire Academy.
The match had been in danger of not being able to go ahead as the Burridge groundstaff battled the spring rain to try to get the ground ready.
Despite a very soft outfield, the game went ahead.
Alton captain Scott Myers lost the toss and the home skipper elected to bowl first.
Tom South looked to play positively, but runs were difficult to come by on a surface and outfield that was not conducive to run scoring.
Oliver Southon (four for 14) and Benedict White bowled in good areas, and when a ball from Southon stuck in the pitch, Daniel Harris could only fend it straight back to the grateful Southon who completed a simple return catch to leave Alton ten for one.
Sam Ruffell joined South and the pair were seemingly getting used to the surface before a fine diving catch from Hilio De Abreu gave Southon his second wicket as South departed for 13.
Things got worse for the visitors as another ball from Southon lifted, and skipper Myers was powerless as the ball lobbed up to mid-wicket and Alton slumped to 25 for three.
Ruffell managed to find the boundary, but a short ball from Southon soon gave him his fourth victim. Ruffell took it on but could only sky the ball, with William Donald completing the catch at the second time of asking to leave Alton 36 for four.
Michael and Mark Heffernan looked to stabilise things, but runs became increasingly difficult to come by.
Inayat Ullah and Sullivan White (three for ten) continued to keep the pressure on the Brewers.
Despite surviving, Alton could not get the scoreboard moving.
Frustration got the better of Michael Heffernan (ten), who looked to gain some momentum but drove in the air and short extra cover stuck out a hand and completed another good catch to leave the Brewers 55 for five.
It was more of the same for the remainder of the visitors’ innings – no batter was able to counter the accurate bowling of the Burridge attack.
Next to depart was Mark Heffernan (nine). An off cuter which gripped and came back in a long way left Heffernan powerless as he watched the ball cannon into his stumps.
Tom Andrews soon followed as Alton slipped to 63 for seven.
Alton had no answer as Donald claimed two wickets before Ullah ended proceedings, bowling Walters as Alton crumbled to 77 all out.
Alton had hoped despite the low target that they could make early inroads and put some pressure back on the home side.
A positive start from overseas player Mathew Goles and skipper Joe Collings-Wells quickly moved Burridge to within touching distance.
Both batters latched on to anything overpitched by the Alton bowlers as a flurry of early boundaries moved the home side past 50.
Andrews made the breakthrough as he found the edge of Collings-Wells for 29. Myers completed the catch at slip but it was too little, too late.
De Abreu, in his final innings in England before returning home to South Africa, joined Goles.
The pair took Burridge to within a boundary of victory.
De Abreu looked to end the game in style, but could only hit a full toss from South out to deep mid-wicket. Ruffell completed the catch to leave the home side on 74 for two.
Goles completed proceedings, ending on 37 not out in quick time as Burridge completed an emphatic eight-wicket victory. With a small total, Alton were unable to apply any pressure and missed their lengths searching for early breakthroughs.
A difficult day for the visitors, and despite being on the wrong side of conditions they would have hoped for a better performance with bat and ball.